When it comes to finding success—both on and off the mound—it’s not always about personality. Compare all-time strikeout king, Nolan Ryan, with the up-and-coming pitcher from the same hometown, Nathan Eovaldi. Even though they have similar roots, their approaches to the game—and to life—are quite different.

Just Like One of the Guys

While Ryan was a true celebrity, Eovaldi is shy and reserved. He can’t resist a good steak and still follows his favorite hometown sports teams, the Rockets and the Texans. Although he’s clearly a baseball fan, he also likes to watch basketball and football, just like most 26-year-old guys, as well as movies starring Will Ferrell.

On the mound, Eovaldi has proven that hard work and dedication to the game pay off. Even though his stats haven’t matched those of the New York Yankees legend, the 26-year-old Eovaldi has shown that he will be a powerful force in the team’s lineup. In his first year in New York, he finished strong with a 3.43 ERA in his last 14 starts.

A Promising Future

With continued work and perseverance, it’s possible that he could match up to Ryan, who also grew up in Alvin, Texas. Maybe someday there will be an Eovaldi Expressway, similar to the Nolan Ryan Expressway.

Important Lessons from Sports

Sports can teach us powerful lessons about life. Regardless of your style, it’s important to remember that anyone who finds success, whether it’s in sports or in another career, must take responsibility for himself or herself. If you look to others to do the work for you, or if you blame others for your failings, you’re likely to be disappointed. I’ve learned that from experience, and I apply that principle to all of my work.