When asked to officiate a wedding, this is what a baseball fan comes up with
We’re here today to celebrate the union of Laura and Ben, and provide witness to their enduring partnership.
When I spoke with Laura and Ben about what they wanted me to say today, that’s the one word that came up again and again.
And, as far as I’m concerned, we can’t talk about partnerships without talking about the best partnership in the history of the word:
Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker.
For those of you who didn’t grow up in Michigan, obsessed with the Detroit Tigers, a little history:
Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell played side by side for nineteen seasons.
They started out together at Double A Montgomery, where they first assumed the roles that would define them: Whitaker at second base, Trammell at short stop.
For nineteen seasons, one World Series Championship, seven Gold Gloves and eleven All-Star selections, they did together the same things Laura and Ben have, and will do together.
You anticipate your partner’s needs.
You cover their back when they make a mistake.
When they end up on their back, you offer your hand.
Now, we’re not here to talk about baseball — but we can learn a few things from Lou and Alan.
First, it’s all about WE.
“It’s the damndest thing,” Houk said. “You tell one of them something and he says, ‘We can do it.’ Like they’re a team.”
Second, you do the big stuff together — and you support each other.
In 1977 they roomed and played together at Montgomery in the Class AA Southern League. “We did everything together,” says Whitaker. “We didn’t have anybody else.” Says Trammell, “We comforted each other a little. If one of us had a bad night, the other one wouldn’t let it get him down. We sort of used each other as crutches, and we became pretty close.”
Whitaker hit .280. Trammell batted .291, broke Reggie Jackson’s league record for triples with 19 and was named league MVP. Brinkman, their manager, says, “They could’ve been co-MVPs that year.”
And last, you complement one another.
Being partners doesn’t mean being the same. Lou batted lefty, Alan from the right side.
And being partners means loving each other for your faults, not just your talents.
For all the gold gloves, Trammell was such a klutz that no one wanted to sit next to him at dinner — they’d end up covered in his spaghetti.
Lou, for all his natural athletic prowess, couldn’t lay off the junk food. That’s why they called him Sweet Lou.
Neither was perfect, but together, they were close.
To me, that’s what a good partnership is — you’re each pretty great on your own. That much, everyone here knows already.
But together, you’re better. Together, you’re champs.
Laura and Ben, as you being the next phase of your lives together, I can think of nothing more to wish for you than that you become co-MVPs; that you conquer the challenges of life the way Lou and Alan conquered the infield: together.