The Church of Baseball
Admit it. The World Series is like an annual Church Conference.
That’s why it’s called the Church of Baseball General Conference. Here I am watching the 2nd game of the World Series in the 8th inning and the bases are loaded. Everybody in Detroit is praying. Everybody in San Fransisco is praying. You can hear the crowd chanting, yelling, and the pitcher puts a fastball down the way and kaboom. strike. Intense.
The count goes up with 1 out, and an 0 2 count – 6 pitches to the batter. The congregation stands up. Hands are folded in prayer, and in-between pitches a silence hushed the multitude. As the pitcher winds up, the crowd stands and claps and a hit… the fly-ball is caught, but the runner on 3rd scores, and San Fransisco acts as if they witnessed a miracle.
And you ask why do I love baseball. Ha! Fools.
I think Jesus would be an Angels fan, but His team sucks. Just say’n. (in-between inning chatter)
Baseball is a game of strategy. You have to think in order to play this game of baseball. Other games, where brute strength or size provides an athlete with an edge, doesn’t require much thought. In football, for instance, you just give the ball to the biggest guy with strong legs. “Mongo, take ball. run over little puny man and get cookie.” In basketball, you just tell the tallest dude around to bounce the ball a couple of times and drop it in the hoopy thing that has a net underneath. Whoosh. A graduate from Texas A&M could play basketball. Well, maybe. But then again – President Obama is a basketball fan. And Rush Limbaugh likes cookies. Mongo likes cookies.
Don’t get me wrong, there are big guys in baseball too. But, big guys who play baseball also have brains. Babe Ruth was not Mongo and did not eat cookies. He preferred beer. The Babe was a tortured soul, an orphan who loved playing the game of baseball. He was larger than life. There are stories in baseball like that.
Even though I think Josh Shamilton… errrrr… Hamilton of the Texas Rangers finished out the year sucking eggs, you have to admit that he’s a great baseball player who experienced a journey of faith and redemption in both his personal and professional life.
A game often comes down to a single pitch to a single batter in the ninth inning. It’s a game of drama. It’s full of teeth pulling, gut wrenching yearning for miracles.
The losing team and their fans, heads bowed as they realize what is about to happen, sit on their seats hoping for a miracle from the batter. Come on batter – get a home run. Let’s play another inning so we can win this game. But no, he hits a pop-up ball and it’s caught… and the Giants are up two games to nothing. Church service is over.
Saturday will bring another service in a different church. Perhaps there will be an alter call in Detroit, and the Tigers might be saved.
I wonder if the Cathedral in Detroit will be as inviting and as intense as “Der Dome” in San Fransisco, where they believe that prayers are answered.