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August 21, 2015
Of Pitchers and AdMen
In baseball, it is generally known that pitchers are not the best hitters. Players, fans, and sport commentators accept that fact. The reason being is that the pitcher is rarely called on to hit in crucial moments. The team pitcher was not recruited to the team based on his slugging percentage. No, the pitcher joined the team because of his specific skill.

To pitch, obviously.

Reasonably so, the sports world has been buzzing about these young pitchers who are, when it comes to pitchers, hitting well above the rest of the crop. A sports commentator who was being interviewed provided some insight. He stated that before getting to the Major Leagues, these pitchers were all-around athletes. They were asked to do a number of things, on a number of occasions. When they made it big as a pitcher, that changed. The managing staff forced this once-general athlete to specialize to hone their pitching arsenal.

The result? Great pitchers, poor batters. 

It seems now that with more cross-training going on in professional sports, these young athletes are keeping the athleticism they maintained before getting to the main stage. When that happens, we see the result: Pitchers can hit.

Granted, not nearly as well or often as your team's top four, but enough to deem it significant.

What does this have to do with AdLand?

Go beyond the specialization. One of the competitive advantages an agency can have is its diversity of thought. We cannot live in a world of specialists; it is similar to a world where people flock to their own self-interest rather than a plurality with a group mentality. The structure will fall.

Don't get us wrong. There is a huge benefit in doing a specific task very well. But if that is the only thing you can do, then there is additional room you can fill to help out your team, brand, or agency.

Being able to do more than what you're brought in to do is never a bad thing.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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