The Word: Baseball can be a wonderful teacher

Published 3:04 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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Rev. J. Cameron BaileyGreat moments can be ruined by other people, can’t they? Have you ever done something great only to have someone else ruin the moment for you? It happens all the time. You have a big accomplishment and someone does or says something to ruin the moment. You fix a delicious meal only to have someone accidentally dump the entire salt shaker on top. You prepare a delicious bowl of goodness from Sweet Frog or ColdStone only to have some snotty nosed child running wild bump you and knock it to the floor. You cook a delicious steak only to watch someone put ketchup on top of it.

I know…I know…I can feel the tears running down your face just imagining the horror of such injustices. Great moments can be ruined by other people.

In 1931, Lou Gehrig “tied” Babe Ruth for the season home run record with both having 46 home runs. Why did I say “tied”? Well, on April 26th of that year, Gehrig hit a home run that cleared the fence and bounced back into the hands of center fielder Harry Rice. Lyn Lary, who was on first base, thought the ball was caught and started to head toward the dugout without crossing home plate. Lou Gehrig, who trots around the bases with his head down, gets called out for passing a runner. “Tied”… no. He actually beat Ruth that year by one…but Lyn Lary had to mess it all up. Or, how about 1999 when Robin Ventura hits a grand slam and his team mates in full excitement mob him at second base and the hit is then ruled as a single. Great moments can be ruined by other people.

Baseball officially begins on the 30th for Major League. Baseball is a wonderful, wonderful life teacher. You have to play the whole game through. You have to touch every base. You have to play as a team. You need to leave it all on the field.

If you’re in a slump, keep swinging. If you mess up, shake it off. There are so many phrases connected with baseball that apply to life. The main one is this: the goal of every batter is to get home. Can I get an amen on that one, Church?! In baseball and life, don’t allow others to mess you up. Keep swinging and striving to get Home. Great moments can be ruined by other people. Just don’t let those moments define you. Peter denied Christ 3 times… but that moment of being ruined didn’t ruin Peter. He got back in the box and kept swinging, playing hard until he got Home. Keep swinging, Church. Keep swinging.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at