8710_MPINCC_0093fSometimes you need to be reminded how much just being alive is something to appreciate.  Yesterday at the MPINCC Professional Education Program held at the Westin San Francisco Airport, former Major League Baseball Pitching Great and San Francisco Giant Dave Dravecky spoke about his experience in a presentation entitled The Worth of a Man.

For those that aren’t familiar with Dravecky’s story, he was a pitcher for the Giants in the late 80s (when I first became a Giants fan!), and was a dominant lefty who got cancer in his throwing arm and then beat it to come back.

However, after his comeback he endured a terrible injury snapping his throwing arm in two while pitching against the Montreal Expos.  In his own words: “After my comeback and fall from the mound, the cancer returned, yet again. The arm refused to get better so I decided to retire from my dream, the game of baseball, in November of 1989. Finally, the arm along with my shoulder blade and the left side of my collarbone had to be amputated for fear the cancer would spread and take my life. Little did I know that the loss of my childhood dream would become a platform to share hope with the suffering around the world.”

The actual ball that Dravecky threw when his arm snapped, ending his MLB career.

The actual ball that Dravecky threw when his arm snapped, ending his MLB career.

“The challenges I’ve faced in the years following have taught me volumes and I now travel the country sharing the lessons I’ve learned—lessons on how to navigate loss and suffering, and how to experience encouragement and hope. More recently I’ve been exploring how we define our true worth, learning that it’s not what you do that matters most—it’s who you are. The experiences of my life have drawn me to discover and share about the value and significance of relationships—relationships with co-workers, family members and anyone else on ‘my team.’ My personal experiences have also taught me to evaluate life—challenging myself as well as others to press on towards our future goals.”

His story was really moving and as a Giants fan it was great to see how the organization is still a family to him, and now he is now sharing his experiences speaking across the country.  Dravecky is an excellent speaker and a humble man who’s passion for life is infectious.  Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration from those who have been on the edge of despair to help you appreciate what you have.  Thanks Dave!