Yes, I'm a baseball fan...

This may come as a surprise to most of you.  But yes, I'm a baseball fan.
Our rehearsal dinner in 2011 at the Tulsa Drillers ballpark.  SO much fun!
In fact, I've come to really love the game, the history and most of all, time spent with my hubby watching the game.  I think there are times he's really surprised at what little facts I have retained or picked up on my own.  We started off like the movie Fever Pitch, but our story is now one that resides in a city without a team, so rather than attending games, we watch them on our couch. While eating sliders and sweet potato fries.

As of today, there are 19 days until Opening Day.  So, at our house, the real World Series is on (USA team has made it to the playoffs!) and we watch the MLB network constantly.  Luckily, it's pretty entertaining and I even enjoyed a short series they did on finding the next great Knuckler (Knuckleball is a dying way of pitching that is SUPER cool and really hard to hit)

Saturday, as we were catching up on the world of baseball, a press conference started, with a very well known Yankee.  I didn't know who he was (hey, I'm relatively new to the sport!), but as Stephen explained, he is one of the best right handed pitchers out there, and has been with the Yankees since they signed him in 1990.  He is the MLB's all-time leader in saves. 

He has only ever known the Yankee pin stripe and says he was thankful each day he put on that prestigious uniform.

His name is Mariano Rivera.  They call him Mo.  Known as one of the best closers in the game of baseball, he will be back on the mound closing his career with a bang, retiring at the end of this season.

During the press conference, the room was filled with reporters, cameras, executives and all current Yankees, but most importantly, he was surrounded by his wife, and two boys.  Sitting tall next to their father, who was announcing the end of one of the greatest careers in a sport that often yields questions of steroid use, or players acting out against other players... he was one that stood tall and led the game from the center mound with class and a quiet humbleness.

You see, the thing that struck me most, was his message.  When many in this day and age thank God for their talents but lack a life that backs up their faith, this man is genuine, and lives out his message every day.  To his teammates, and to his fans.  It was evident as he spoke, the respect he has gained over the years.  He is a great example of the work Christ can do in you and how to effectively use a platform for the advancing of His Kingdom.


As the 2013 season begins, the Yankees will travel to over 81 away games.  At each location, Mo has asked that the organization find someone in that town that exemplifies the game of baseball.  And they don't have to be Yankee fans.  Whether it be a man who has attended every game since he was 7, or a family who drives 3 hours every summer to attend a game together, or a grandfather who brings his grandson to each game, they will bring those people at each city to Mo so he can thank them in person for supporting one of the greatest games of all time.

You know what's great?  Mo has used this moment in his life to be an even greater influence on the lives of others.  What better way to meet people from all over the country, than to have them brought directly to him.  I imagine he will thank them, and even use it as an opportunity to witness.  How awesome.

I know this is not the typical post for me.  Different from baby pictures, engagement posts and the latest recipe, but I was so touched by this man and what he aims to do over this upcoming season, that I wanted to track him and tell his story.  I don't know if I'll find out who he meets with, but that's the goal.  I want to know who these people are, and see how he uses this moment in his life to influence others with the love of Christ.

How do you use your current job as a platform for the Kingdom?  I know I don't as much as I should.   I should be praying over each family I take photos of.  Praying over each couple that is about to get married.  That is how I should use this talent that the Lord has given me.

For that is what Mo has done. 

Well done Mo. Well done.


Courtney said...

This post gave me chills and really hits home. I actually work for Major League Baseball in NYC and am a die hard Yankee fan. Mo is such an exemplary leader, player and man and we could really use more role models like him in the world. He is the epitome of grace, class & selflessness. A fun fact about Mo: more men have walked on the moon (12) than scored a run against him in the playoffs (11). Pretty amazing!

Love your blog & really loved this post :)

Sarah Baker said...

Wow, thanks Courtney! I wish I would have been able to add that into my blog. So amazing. My hubby has SO much knowledge of the game, and he makes it fun to learn about baseball. Mainly because he's so passionate about it. Thanks for stopping by! (PS- You should blog more! I stopped over at your blog... it's darling!)

Morgan Hutchinson said...

I have nominated you for a Liebster Award because I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work! http://blondewithababy.com/2013/03/18/liebster-award/

Beachwalk83 said...

Came to your blog when I googled "Tiki Deck Tulsa Drillers." My daughter is having her rehearsal dinner there on Sat. May 25, 2013. We live in Massachusetts and are big baseball/Red Sox fans so are very excited. Just not sure what will happen if it rains that day?!? Will they have the dinner, anyway, even if there isn't a game? And is there shelter under a roof or in a room?

Loved the comment about knuckleballers--in the picture, that was the Red Sox' Tim Wakefield holding the baseball! One more special thing about Mariano Rivera--he's the last player to be able to wear Jackie Robinson's retired number, 42. Mo was wearing the number before it was retired so was allowed to keep wearing it until he retires.

You are a lovely family and I look forward to following your blog as well as catching up on your older posts!