TIME OUT with Joe Flanagan

Believe, Live The Dream

And believe.
You won’t get far on the first without the second.
Dreams are wonderful. They cause us to expand our boundaries, to visualize and explore unfamiliar realms of possibility. They allow us to break through supposed limits and reach for new heights.
But, without belief, dreams are simply harmless diversions, vapors of reality that quickly disappear.
By believing, truly believing, motions are put into place for accomplishment. Dreaming, believing.
Dream and believe … and you’ll work hard to improve.
Dream and believe … and you’ll persevere when the way becomes rocky.
Dream and believe … and you won’t let others impose limits on you – in fact, you’ll expand their horizons.
Dream and believe. Powerful stuff.
In a column earlier this summer, I penned words promoting dreams and the good that can spring from them. I posited small town baseball diamonds as a perfect backdrop for such dreams.
Can there be a better example of dreaming and believing than the 2011 Cornerstone Legion Baseball Juniors?

After all, qualifying for American Legion State Tournaments has not been exactly the norm in Albion.
Following three state tourney berths in a seven-year span (1994, 1999, 2000), there had been an 11-year drought for our local Legion programs. It’s doubtful today’s team members even remember Whit Palmer, Roger Tisthammer, Adam Flanagan, Craig Gragert, Josh Inman, Joey Imus, James Kunzman, Scott Reinhart and the rest of their teammates fulfilling their own dreams in 2000.
But the current program is about overcoming even greater odds than a lengthy absence from state competition. Area baseball fans are well aware of the plight of Legion baseball in small burgs across Nebraska, Albion being no exception.
Legion Post #162 hasn’t been able to assemble a Senior team for several years and the Junior program almost suffered the same fate.
However, Albion coaches Lowell Imus and Mel Dawson would not let the dream, or the reality, die. They persevered, even through a summer of using Pony League competitors to field a team.
Dream and believe, they preached. And these Juniors listened. Extra batting practice Bouncing back from defeats. Finding additional players to share the vision.
A vision become reality.
Even our facilities offer proof. Fans in attendance at Beatrice this past week found that the Albion Sports Complex matches – in fact, probably surpasses – the facility hosting the state tournament. Again, a testament to Imus and volunteers too many to name for countless hours of commitment.
Dreaming and believing.
With Albion’s Pony League success this summer, this is likely not a conclusion, just a beginning. Yes, Legion baseball is alive and well here.
Dream on.

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