Photo by Tim Cox

Letters From Leton: Underdogs

During the past month I watched more baseball than I have in a long time.

While I usually watch some of the World Series, it was normally sporadic most years. But this year was different. I sensed that something was in the air.

What was in the air was a team that faced elimination five times – the Underdog for each series they played. A team who did not have the “quality” players of other teams, so the experts said.

So what did this underdog team do? They won every series – normally by coming back in late innings of games. They had the spirit and enthusiasm of a high school team with goofy stunts in the dugout, even adopting Baby Shark as their mascot! 

They won the World Series and will forever be known as World Champions of 2019 – the Washington Nationals.

Perhaps part of my affinity for underdogs comes from growing up in a region that is itself an underdog. Far away from its State Capital (7 others are closer), a region that for many years was difficult to access due to poor roads. A culture that perhaps is set somewhat more in time (like the musical Brigadoon) than others.

The world likes underdogs. They will root for underdogs if given a reason to do so.

But underdogs have to work harder. They have to think smarter. They have to band together more so than others. They have to give others a reason to root for them.

I think we can succeed in SWVA and the greater Appalachian Highlands in spite of the odds that many think are stacked against us.

And one day folks will talk about how those underdogs re-shaped Appalachia.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.