May 2021 Newsletter

Lessons Learned at the Ballpark

by Tim Fulton

This is an article I first wrote 24 years ago about customer service, my son, and the national pastime. As it is now baseball season, I am pleased to re-publish the article once again this month.

I often receive my best training in customer service in the most unlikely situations.

My 6-year-old son, Taylor, had been pressuring me for weeks to take him to a baseball game. At the time, I was still on strike as a major league baseball fan. Hence, I decided to take him to see the local team play in the College Baseball Regional Championships.

The game was terrific. It had all the elements that have made baseball our national pastime: great hitting, exciting fielding, and a late-inning comeback by the home team. In fact, the home team won the game.

Taylor thoroughly enjoyed the game except for one aspect. He had brought his glove to the game just in case a foul ball happened to drift in our direction. With each pitch, he leaned forward in anticipation of snagging a souvenir ball.

Unfortunately, not a single ball was hit our way.

After the final out, we weaved our way out of the bleachers toward our car in the parking lot. As we reached the stadium exit, we passed an elderly stadium attendant. He appeared to be either a university alumnus or maybe just a fan of the game who worked the gate to earn a free ticket. As the crowd pushed out onto the street, the old gent stood by the exit gate, minding his own business.

When we walked by, the attendant abruptly reached down and grabbed Taylor’s glove hand as if my son was concealing contraband in his mitt. “Son, have you got a baseball in that glove?” he asked suspiciously. Taylor was startled by the stranger and replied, "No," in a soft whisper.

At that moment, the attendant reached into his pocket, pulled out a baseball, and dropped it into Taylor’s empty glove.

When Randall was 18, he joined the U.S. Army as a military intelligence signals analyst and directly supported numerous military operations throughout the world. After the Army, Randall joined a large, cleared defense contracting firm where he supported missions that solved some of the intelligence issues after 9/11. He has an unparalleled level of expertise in the use and integration of leading-edge information technologies, and he specializes in enhancing organizational infrastructure operations.

Randall founded Zapata Technology in 2007 and since then has led all efforts to help shape the company’s rapid expansion into new business markets and to create many new strategic business partnerships. Under Randall’s leadership, the Augusta-based Zapata Team is a two-time winner of Washington Technology’s Fast 50 and Inc. 5000.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

Full disclosure. I have been a casual observer of climate change for the past decade. It’s hard not to notice that the planet has gotten warmer. More weird weather. A higher number of electric cars on the road. I see more solar panels on roofs and more wind turbines in remote areas.

I have even been trying to do my part. Recycling paper. Turning the thermostat up at night. Driving more fuel-efficient cars.

But until reading Bill Gates' new book this month, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, I have not been as aware of the problem we face as a planet with climate change nor the solutions we will need to avoid a huge worldwide disaster.

Bill Gates spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. In the book, he explains why we need to work towards net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases and what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

How does Climate Change impact small businesses?


Imagine if you had one hour a week to hone your skills as a leader.

Imagine if you had one hour a week to prioritize your most important weekly action items.

Imagine if you had one hour a week to work with and support a growth-minded peer group.

Hosted by former Vistage Chair and SBM President Tim Fulton, the SBM MasterMind Group provides:

  • A weekly one-hour virtual group meeting
  • Quarterly one-to-one individual coaching sessions
  • An annual group retreat
  • Ready access to a growth-minded peer group

All for the small investment of $295/month!

Mastermind group member Mary Ritz shares her experience...

For additional information or to register for the group, 
contact Tim Fulton at
-Available on Amazon-
Baseball Trivia:

  • Babe Ruth's top salary was $80,000 (in 1930 and 1931). Adjusted for inflation, that's the equivalent of a little more than $1.1 million today (a little less than middle reliever Antonio Bastardo made last year).

  • During World War II, the U.S. military designed a grenade to be the size and weight of a baseball, since "any young American man should be able to properly throw it."

  • Every single MLB baseball is rubbed in Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, a unique "very fine" mud only found in a secret location near Palmyra, New Jersey.

  • Many major league baseball players, including Moises Alou, Jorge Posada, and Kerry Wood, have admitted that they pee on their own hands during baseball season to "toughen" their grip.

  • In the mid-1800s, you could be put out between the bases by having the ball thrown directly at you. Players were resistant when the rule was changed — "patching," as it was known, was an important and masculine part of the game.
Some of My Favorite Baseball Quotes:

"There's no crying in baseball!" ~ Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own

"Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical." ~ Yogi Berra
"Playing baseball for a living is like having a license to steal." ~ Pete Rose

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of 10 and be considered a good performer." ~ Ted Williams

"Close doesn't count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades." ~ Frank Robinson

"Baseball is like church. Many attend, but few understand." ~ Leo Ernest Durocher

"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling bad or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." ~ Hank Aaron
Abbott and Costello - Who's On First

Possibly the most famous comedy bit of all time.
Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Remember, small business does MATTER.

President & CEO
Small Business Matters
(678) 427-9436

"Dedicated to Increasing the Effectiveness and Enhancing the Lives of CEOs"