The Word: A utility player is always ready

Published 1:00 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

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Rev. J. Cameron BaileyOn Saturday, September 30, 2017, Andrew Romine, became the fifth Major League player to play all 9 positions during one single game. Romine began in the left field and took care of the outfield positions first before moving to third base, then short, then second and then he caught before switching back to second.

He then pitched and even clocked one at 87 mph before finishing up at first base in the eighth inning. All nine positions in the first eight innings of the game. His Tigers went on to win 3-2 over the Twins that night, but no one cared about the win as much as they cared about what they witnessed. A true utility player.

Oh, did I mention he also got on base twice while batting during this game? This switch hitting right hander began his MLB career in 2010 and retired in 2021, playing for five different teams during these 12 years. His Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus, knew this “kid” could play pretty much any position. Well, with the Tigers out of the playoffs, the manager knew this was the perfect opportunity to just see how good Romine was. The test was presented and he successfully passed, playing all nine positions in one single game.

A utility player is typically one who might not have shown they’re worthy of a starting position just yet, but they are more than capable of playing more than one defensive spot. This is that needed player who may not be a super star but is one you need on your team! You see, a utility player is ready no matter where you throw them… even if it’s all during the same game.

We need more utility players within our churches. Folks typically hold the preacher or the piano player or certain singers up like all stars. Nah…give me utility players all day, any day. We need the ones able and willing to just jump right in when there’s a need. Someone out for “kids church” this morning? Grab a utility player. Need someone to help greet folks in the parking lot? Utility player to the rescue! Preacher needs a week off? Which utility player wishes to step up and bring The Word next Sunday? Got some folks needing a visit? The utility player is en route. Prayer needs? Fellowship meal? Homemade Ice Cream Social? Clogged toilet? Dirty dishes? Grass needs cutting? Bulletins need to be made? Who are you going to call?!?! That’s right…those utility players.

In 1 Corinthians 9, the apostle Paul says that he has “become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might win some (v22)”.

Ain’t it time you got in the game?

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