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Friday, December 31, 2010


It was Christmas in simpler times, when a boy dreamed of being the king of the diamond.

At last he felt it was time for him to play on a team, surely he was big and strong enough play with the bigger boys.

Recently the little league teams had gotten uniforms and looked very professional when they were out on the field. However his old glove was worn out when he got it, and it made him look bad when trying to field a grounder; the ball would pop out of the glove and the runner would be safe.

All year he had been hinting he wanted a new mitt for Christmas. He even humiliated himself by sitting on Santa’s knee and asking for a certain glove.

Now, it was Christmas day and he was almost afraid to go downstairs for fear there would be no glove for him.

This was the happiest moment of his life because he received just what he wanted, a Rawling fielder’s glove, the best one made from pure leather.

Immediately he hurried to the garage and took down the oil he had been saving for the day he would get his new glove. Carefully he oiled it and then placed a baseball in the pocket tying it up tightly for he wanted to shape the pocket to the ball.

When he showed up for the team practice with the new mitt the coach told him he could try out and play third base. The first ball hit to him went straight through his legs, and his heart almost stopped beating because of everyone making fun of him. The coach yelled at him; “No biggie, just tighten it up.” From that day to this, no ball ever did that to him again.

Each day his skills improved, though he had never played in a game until the third baseman moved, and they had no third baseman. His coach said; “Okay get out there and let’s see what you can do.”

Before he had been used as a utility player, playing all the infield spots until third base became his territory to defend. Even at this youn age he could rifle a ball across the diamond and few could beat out a hit on him.

As time went by he constantly improved with his glove, and his hitting ability until a scout saw him, and he got a tryout with a farm club.

It was a short time until he moved up to the majors. At first it was back to being a utility player but that didn’t matter, for he was a major league player and that was everything.

The one thing he had learned was patience, and then one day, again he was promoted to third base where he wanted to be all along.

Year after year went by and his career was most fulfilling, but time was beginning to tell on him. He was slower at getting the jump on the ball and guys were getting hits they should not have gotten. He was sluggish at running the bases now, just a half step slow down.

He began to see the end was coming for him because time was moving on and wasn’t waiting for him. The manager used him as a teacher for the younger players and played him less.

Then one day they had a party for him, and he gave a farewell speech about what baseball had meant to him, and then it was over.

More time passed and he could no longer do what was once so easy for him. As the days went by not even his sport was as meaningful to him, in fact nothing was as interesting as it had been.

He was a victim of the natural decline that all experience to one degree or the other. He didn’t think about the past anymore and the future wasn’t in view. The present was the only thing there was, and the “now” was very dull and unresponsive.

On occasion the thought would stir his mind; “I ain’t the man I used to be” but it would fade into the lapse of thinking.

This went on till one day the game was over and people said nice things about him and what he had meant to them.

He had played the game fair and gave it all he had, that is all you can ask of anyone. Remember being in the game of life is what is important, but how you play it makes it meaningful to you.

Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings;

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