COLUMN — Don’t let a little lightning strike stop you, finish the game

Published 12:38 pm Friday, June 25, 2021

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August 24, 1919,  a day that will stick out in the memory of all who witnessed or have read about a crazy incident in MLB history.

Ray Caldwell, a pitcher for the Indians, was struck by lightning while standing on the mound. Some say the lightning hit Caldwell directly. Some say the lightning hit the mound. Others say it hit inside the infield and several players felt a jolt. No matter how it happened, we know for fact that in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, lightning struck and Ray Caldwell hit the ground knocked unconscious.

In The Sporting News, August 28, 1919, edition Henry Edwards wrote, “The bolts flashed here and there, causing much excitement. There was a blinding flash that seemed to set the diamond on fire and Caldwell was knocked flat from the shock to it.” The San Antonio Evening News, on August 25, 1919, said, “One of his teammates touched him on the head and leaped into the air. He said the pitcher seemed to be crackling with electricity.”

Caldwell gets up, checks his arms and legs, shakes off then gets back on the mound to finish his game. He was one out away from finishing the game and this jolt wasn’t about to stop him. With only one out remaining, Caldwell pitched to Philadelphia A’s Joe Dugan, “forcing him to hit a grounder to Gardner just as the clouds broke and the rain came down heavily,” wrote the Plain Dealer.

Can you imagine all this?

Dude was straight up struck by lightning, knocked out, revived, then gets up, shakes off, makes sure he still has both arms and legs/ fingers and toes, and finishes the game.

How you doing right now in life? Has something struck and knocked you down? Feel like a bolt of lightning has hit you hard? Does it feel like something or someone has hit the breath clean out of you?

No matter which inning in life you may be currently, are you wondering what hit you and if you can keep going? Stop. Catch your breath. Count your fingers/toes and do a quick assessment. Now get back on the mound and finish the game.

Don’t quit. Don’t take yourself out the game. Your team is behind you to catch that ground ball and get this last out.

Jim George said, “It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.”

In 2 Corinthians 8:11, the apostle Paul is talking to a church about their giving and says, “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it.”

Get up. Check yourself over. Finish strong. #yougotthis