I got a base hit off a major leaguer. It's true. It's true, but admittedly a managed truth. Politics has certainly taught us a lot about putting a spin on our reports. We have learned to manipulate the facts to obtain a calculated effect, and I must admit that I am guilty of just that.
Here's my story.
Way, way back when I was almost 20 years old, I frequently found myself on a baseball diamond some place or other. On this day I was on the field of La Cienega Park, near Dorsey High School. When we had finished our game a pickup game was beginning to form. There weren't enough players to reject me, so I was chosen to play on one of the teams. You know, good old fashioned sandlot baseball.
The pitcher for the other team was a young star named Billy Consolo. On one of my trips to the bat I got a broken bat single, and that is my claim to fame boasted in the first sentence above. Shortly after this Billy Consolo was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur in 1953. They called them "bonus babies" in those days. When offered a certain amount of money the team was required to keep him on the roster for at least a year. Billy played third base for Boston, and though he was never spectacular, he managed to stay in the majors with one team or other for nine years.
As for me, well my career went from sandlot to Municipal Ball (about two cuts below semi-pro) with the Southern Pacific Railroad team. I was only a utility man, but played every game, nevertheless. Sometimes I played third base (I understand why it's called the hot corner), short stop, second base or left field. I never hit a home run, but one day I had four hits in five at bats.
I don't consider my time on the baseball diamond a waste of time. I was participating in the American experience at it's best. Even the greatest players of the game fail two-thirds of the time at bat. That's closer to the reality of life than other sports experiences. In life too, I probably failed at least two-thirds of the time. But when God gives you the exhilaration of a "base hit" in life, it's so much more joyful in contrast to the last two defeats.
Well I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will never play baseball again. That's okay. When you get to be 80 there are a lot of things you will never do again. I no longer wonder what I will be when I grow up. Actually I no longer fear that I might die young and miss something. God has been so good to me that the only things I regret are my sins. Yes, and I really regret them. If it weren't for God's declaration of "once for all" (Hebrews 7:27) in the covering of my sins, I would certainly despair.
I may have failed two-thirds of the time, but my pinch hitter bats a thousand!