Every American kid (ok fine, not every, but many!) dreams of making it to the big leagues, the MLB. However, once the reality of not making it settles in for most kids, the dream changes from making it to the big leagues to attending an MLB game and catching a foul ball as a spectator. But even that is no easy task. According to FanGraphs, the odds of catching a foul ball are roughly 1-in-1,000 based on the number of foul balls hit each year into the stands and the number of fans who attend games.

Recently, the sports world witnessed one of the rarest events possible. A Seattle Mariners baseball fan, Josh George, caught two foul balls on back-to-back pitches! The chances of that happening were only .00001 percent; that’s a one in 10 million possibility!

Almost instantly, the story of Josh George took the sports world by storm, and he was invited to throw the ceremonious first pitch (and even a second pitch!) at the Seattle Mariners next game. When asked about his incredible foul ball feat, Josh George said, “It’s crazy. I can’t believe it. I used all of the luck from my life right there!” The seat location where George caught the two balls would become his new go-to seat. “I think,” George said, “that’s going to be my new spot.” And just like that, the legend of “Foul Ball Guy” was born.

The story is interesting, even intriguing. But what does it mean for us? I want to share with you my thoughts.

Did you know that the world population has already surpassed 8 billion people? That’s a lot of people. My friends, the Jewish people – yes, the people you hear about all over the news, the people everyone talks and debates about, the people that have survived thousands of years of history – have a population of about 15 million, which is less than 1% of the world’s population! Incredible!

If you are reading this and you are Jewish, take a moment to look inward and appreciate who you are. From a mere statistical numbering perspective, you are a living miracle. You are an oddity (in a good way!), a rarity, and a novelty.

"U'sfartem Lachem M'imacharas Hashabos." These days of counting the Omer up until Matan Torah are days to look inward and truthfully appreciate who and what we are. Hashem chose us to receive the Torah and to be His ambassadors. To accept the Torah we must possess the proper confidence, humility, and self-awareness. We must feel so incredibly lucky to be the “acceptors” of the Torah.
Josh George noticed and appreciated the “luck” he experienced, so much that he decided that “that’s going to be my new spot.” He wanted to remain in the space of good fortune. This gave me such a chizzuk. It reminded me that it’s important to stop, reflect, and appreciate the lucky feeling that we have to be Jewish and to represent the Torah.

And even more, it taught me the following:

Maybe I messed up. Maybe I thought down about myself. Maybe I didn’t associate myself enough with Torah and its values. That’s fine. But through the process of Sefira – the daily count – I can see Matan Torah already around the corner. I can see myself as a Torah “acceptor.” I can see myself chosen as Hashem’s ambassador. Not a U.S. ambassador, not an Israel ambassador, but Hashem’s ambassador! I can see myself as a Torah Jew.

And I can confidently say, “that’s going to be my new spot.” Moving forward, with the help of Hashem, I will make that my new spot. I will choose to remain in that space of holiness and specialness.

I hope you join me.

Have a holy Shabbos!