"Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks..." Is one of the famous songs (see bus songs) of America's best past-time sport.
Baseball...American's favorite past-time sport! I grew-up loving baseball since I was young-age? I grew-up behind a middle school in St. Paul, where there were baseball fields and softball fields....
My Morris' friend (Riana, who was visiting the Twin Cities-Minneapolis-St. Paul) and sister (Thelma) playing fast-pitch baseball (using a tennis ball) on the field by Battle Creek Middle School on Saturday, September 31st of 2006.
...That explains part of why I grew with a passion of this sport. Another reason was probably the Minnesota Twins winning 2 World Series (87' & 91') growing-up.
2004 Division Champs-3 Peat!
3 years in a row that the Minnesota Twins has won the Central Division in the American League! Wow, it's awesome to be a Minnesota Baseball fan. I just watched the Twins lose a hearbreaking game against the multi-million dollar New York Yankees club last night (6-7 in 12 innings). The series is tied 1-1 and the Twins have a chance (they will) to win the best of 5 at the "thunder" dome. No matter what happens, we need to tip our hats to an awesome year!
Why I like the Twins? They are a fundamental (all around teamwork), humbling (not many multi-million star players, but passionate-contented of the game), young (many young players)- ballclub team. Plus, I was born and raised in Minne-sota! Also, it's awesome to see players, like Corey Koskie, Matt Lecroy, Tori Hunter, etc... (Corey boldly shared his faith at the Luis Palau Festival at the St. Paul State Capitol Grounds this past summer, which he was with 2 other players) stand-up about their personal relationship with God.
You-Minnesota Twins-are always winners on and off the field. Thanks for being a role model to young and old, keep up the winning attitude in life!
Below is a letter of encouragement I sent=>
Hello Minnesota Twins,
It was tough to see you lose Wednesday night, but I want to "tip my hat" to you all for fighting to the end. "it's not over to the fat lady sings", so keep playing hard till it's over. I believe you guys can pull it in our home turf-don't compare it to last year because you are a totally different team then last year and the year before.
Praying and Playing-Baseball Fan (since 87') in rural college town-Morris, Minnesota,
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."-2 Timothy 4:7
"Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.
From : Sherry C
Sent : Wednesday, October 13, 2004 4:20 PM
Subject : Fw: THE LORD'S BASEBALL GAME...
Subject: FW: THE LORD'S BASEBALL GAME...
This is good!
Freddy and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's
team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score
was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with
two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the
plate whose name was Love.
Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never
fails. The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because
Faith works with Love.
The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw
the first pitch. Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball
one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly
Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.
The bases were now loaded. The Lord then turned to Freddy and told
him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate
stepped Grace. Freddy said, "He sure doesn't look like much!"
Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won
the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of
everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But
Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He
went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on
the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over
the fence for a home run!The Lord's team won!
The Lord then asked Freddy if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly
Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game. Freddy answered
that he did not know why. The Lord explained, "If your love, faith,
and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by
yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base, but only My
Grace can get you Home. Psalm 84:11, "For the Lord God is a sun and
shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He
withhold from those who walk uprightly." Faith Test This is an easy
test, you score 100 or zero. It's your choice. If you aren't
ashamed to do this, please follow the directions. Yeshua said, "If
you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."
Not ashamed Pass this on . . . only if you mean it. Yes, I do Love
God. He is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me
functioning each and everyday. Without Him, I am nothing, but with
Him can do all things through the Messiah who strengthens me. Phil
This is the simplest test. If you Love God, and are not ashamed of
all the marvelous things he has done for you. Send this to ten
people and the person who sent it to you.
"Rusty Kath loves sports and loves talking. Those two gifts�along with a strong understanding of his audience�are the reasons the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) 2003 graduate in speech communication has been �called up� from the minors to the majors in the world of sports announcing. The former St. Paul Saints public address announcer is the new in-stadium emcee for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida. New baseball team, new city, new league, but Kath�s philosophy remains unchanged from his days as the voice of the UMM Cougars: �Keep fans informed, laughing and cheering, and even if the home team loses, they�ll show up again for the next game.�
Kath�s sportscasting career began as a first-year UMMer when he answered an ad for a Cougar baseball announcer in the student newspaper. �I liked baseball and needed a couple bucks to pay the bills,� recalls Kath. �After a week went by, I took my dad�s advice and went to the P.E. Center to make sure they received my application. I talked to Mark Fohl, athletic director and baseball coach. A few minutes later, I had the job. Had I not gone over there, I have no idea what I would be doing now. I can almost guarantee it wouldn�t be announcing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.�
From the "Fish House" (a.k.a. press box) behind home plate, Kath learned the ins and outs of baseball announcing from UMM�s sports information director. �Brian Curtis taught me a lot about the game and even more about announcing. He�s a talented guy who could be calling games in a number of major markets. I owe a great deal of my success to him.�
At the end of the season, Fohl asked Kath to announce Cougar hoops the following year. �He realized that basketball would allow my personality and talents to show through,� says Kath, �Had he not, I never would have developed the goods for the Saints or now the Devil Rays.�
The then struggling UMM basketball team gained a sixth player on the court with Kath announcing. �No matter how small, we celebrated Cougar accomplishments to the nth degree,� remembers Kath. �Plays and points by the opposing team were dramatically downplayed, sometimes disregarded. I provided necessary game information, and I also delivered stand-up comedy. The mike antics kept the fans in the bleachers.�
Kath credits his UMM experiences with giving him a head start in the real world. ��Motown� really put me ahead in this field,� he says. �It is often assumed that a large university is the best place to get exposure in media, theatre, or really any field. A place like Morris offers much greater opportunity. Being a smaller school, I announced as an undergrad. Receiving one-on-one attention from experts in their fields like Brian Curtis and Mike Cihak in Media Services goes SO much farther than slowly working your way up at a larger institution. Allowing me to show what I could do, and more importantly to make mistakes�and there were many�while still going to school was priceless. When I graduated, I was four years ahead in the game over my competition.�
UMM�s liberal arts curriculum benefited Kath, as well. �I�m not just a guy who knows how to talk into a microphone. I know a bit about a lot of different things. Media outlets don�t want voices they want personalities. UMM allows you to pursue everything you�re interested in, and give you support and experts to guide your journey. For me, it was a perfect fit.�
The Buffalo native is adjusting well to his new position under the dome at Tropicana Field with its 35-feet high video boards and 10,000-gallon aquarium, but family and good memories will keep Kath coming back to Minnesota. The Cougar alumni baseball game brings him back to campus in the spring. And even though his new team is the Devil Rays, he is still a big Twins fan, a former employee, in fact: �As a highlight logger, I watched the games in some of the best seats in the house�the press box, ate hot dogs, talked to local media, did about 15 minutes of work per night recording game highlights for Major League Baseball, and got paid to watch the Twins. One of the best jobs I�ve ever had!� Kath also enjoyed working for the Wild and the Swarm as an announcer.
And Kath will treasure memories of perfect Minnesota evenings at Midway Stadium, where he earned a great reputation as a fun-loving entertainer. �Before Saints games I made it a point to walk through the parking lot full of tailgaters,� remembers Kath. �I�ve never seen people so genuinely happy. Minnesotans realize that grilling, or having a beer with friends, or playing catch with their kids will all too soon come to an end. They soaked up every bit, because sub-zero temps are just around the corner. If I wasn�t up for the game, the tailgaters got me there. I understood how lucky I was. I may never again find a job that fits me so well as the Saints. Watching outdoor baseball, making fun of the opposing team, signing autographs, leading cheers, coordinating a chaotic amount of promotions, and getting paid for what I love to do.�
Kath will be back in Minnesota on Tuesday, August 7, 2007, for a �UMM and Rusty Kath Night at the St. Paul Saints Game� event."
Sal Batting at Triple Crown Batting Cages on Aug 29th 10'
*disclaimer-I was able to hit majority of the pitches from the pictching machine because they were programmed to 40mph, but it wasn't like that with the next 2 different machines (50 & 70mph-I was able to make contact, but not able to hit it like I was in the video)
*note: Rusty Kath, UMM 03' Alumn, won a spot to do "play by play"...
New Saints P.A. Announcers Get National Exposure
Rusty Kath, Maggie Faris featured on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" show
There's no business like it. The St. Paul Saints' new public address announcers got national attention Friday morning when they were introduced on ESPN2's morning show "Cold Pizza."
Rusty Kath, who got his start by doing the p.a. while a student at the University of Minnesota, Morris and Maggie Faris, a veteran of the local comedy circuit, will share the duties at Midway Stadium this summer.
Kath, Faris and team president Mike Veeck were on "Cold Pizza" Friday discussing the new job with co-host Thea Andrews. The segment includes clips of the auditions and showed past promotions at Saints' games.
"I thought everything went great," Veeck said from New York after the show. "It's flattering ESPN thought enough of us to bring us out. Rusty and Maggie bring a lot of energy to the job. I look forward to hearing them."
"PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (ANS) -- In a humorous scene from “A League of Their Own,” the film about women’s professional baseball, the manager (played by Tom Hanks) is exasperated after one of his players breaks down in tears after he chews her out for a bad play. “There’s no crying in baseball,” he exclaims.
But there was crying – and laughter – Friday night at Christ Fellowship church in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where family and friends paid tribute to baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gary “The Kid” Carter during a memorial service. Carter, who primarily played for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, died of brain cancer at 57.
Carter wasn’t always a favorite of opponents – and some teammates – during his playing career. His perpetual smile, enthusiasm for the game, and willingness to mix with reporters and fans earned him another less heart-warming nickname, “Camera.”
But New York Times writer George Vecsey saw another side. “Up close, Carter was not nearly so ebullient. He was a gentleman, the eternal optimist, but there was also an element of sadness to him. He never brought it up, unless asked, but his mother died of leukemia when he was 12 years old.”
His lifestyle could made Carter an outsider at times as well, like when he played on the world-champion 1986 New York Mets, who were known for carousing – heavily. Carter? He took a pass on booze, drugs and the many women available to pro athletes, preferring to head home to his wife Sandy (his high school sweetheart) and their kids.
“I think a lot of people tried to look at him as being a phony because he smiled,” former teammate Darryl Strawberry told a New York TV station. “He was smiling because he was free.”
Added Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci, who covered Carter during his career: “There was, despite resentment from inside his clubhouses, nothing phony about Carter, and nothing given easily to him. He was the same off camera as on: optimistic, faithful, kind-hearted, philanthropic.”
Yet once his playing days were over, even some former antagonists seemed to rethink their perspective. With the camera lights no longer focused on him, Carter didn’t change. He kept smiling. He raised thousands of dollars for charities, especially leukemia, the disease that claimed his mom’s life. And autism, which affects one of his grandchildren. His priorities didn’t change: Jesus. Family. Baseball.
Strawberry’s career, once seemingly headed for the Hall of Fame as well, derailed because of drugs. With baseball in the rear-view mirror, Carter pointed Strawberry to someone who could help him.
“Carter's personality was he never tried to force his faith on anybody, but he would always encourage you that God loves you,” Strawberry told a reporter.
“Gary has helped so many people. He's had a tremendous impact on my life and why my life has changed so much. He was one of the first ones to sit with my wife and tell her how proud he was of me, that I found my faith and I changed my life.”
Carter would probably be the first to say he himself fell short in many areas. But the scorecard of a life is best filled out by one’s family. Carter’s daughter Kimmy, who coaches softball at the same college where her dad was the baseball coach, gave a touching and transparent report in the Caring Bridge online journal devoted to her dad’s last days.
Filled with mundane activities, medical ups and downs, prayer requests, and many helpings of Scripture, she shows the picture of a man who truly valued faith and family, who obviously helped to shape his children’s lives even with those frequent absences due to his chosen profession.
A sample entry:
“Thank you, dad for your powerful prayer before we ate dinner. Mom and dad, your love for Jesus is evident...thank you for shining brightly for Him!”
At the service, his children shared memories of him, joking about his penchant for neatness. Some of baseball’s greats also paid tribute at Christ Fellowship, focusing as much on the man as the ballplayer.
Johnny Bench, another Hall of Fame catcher who was Carter’s hero, also spoke at the service.
“He idolized me,” Bench joked, then turned serious. “But as we sit here tonight, I feel inadequate with the things he accomplished — the family, the pastors, the friends, the respect — to think about that smile, to think about the person he was.”
Bert Blyleven, another Hall of Famer, seemed to sum up the sentiment in the room. “The way he lived his life,” Blyleven told a reporter, “is the way that everybody wants to live their life.” "
"...After suffering a career ending knee injury, pro-baseball superstar Jimmy Easton returns to a place he has not been in a very long time...home. Here, Jimmy confronts dark memories from a tragic past as he tries to make peace with a life he once left behind. Things take an unexpected turn when he is forced back into the world of baseball as the coach of an underachieving college team. Coach Jimmy's rocky relationship with Brandon Elliot, the team's only star, forces both of them to deal with their similarly troubled pasts....
One Hit From Home Official Trailer
"... Uploaded on Jan 4, 2012
Buy online: http://tinyurl.com/OneHitFromHome
Avail. now on DVD at all Christian Bookstores
Become a Fan at: http://www.facebook.com/PureFlix
Official Website: http://pureflix.com/trailers/
Official Store: http://pureflix.christianbook.com/
Bring this movie to your church: http://ministry.pureflix.com/
"Back Down" Music by Safe Haven:
Itunes link: http://tinyurl.com/SafeHavenBackDown
Baseball superstar Jimmy Easton returns home after a devastating knee injury cuts short his promising career. In search of a new purpose for his life, Jimmy faces dark memories from his past as he tries to make peace with a world he once left behind. His life takes a transforming turn when he is involuntarily thrust back into the world of baseball. Not as a player, but as the coach of an underachieving college team struggling to rise above mediocrity. Coach Jimmy's rocky relationship with Brandon Elliot, the team's only star, forces both of them to deal with their similarly checkered pasts. One Hit from Home is a unique sports drama that explores the unpredictability of life and reminds us that we can find hope in the midst of broken dreams.
Little League World Series
-Articles 6-foot-8 13 year old towers over foes , from Yahoo News (By GENARO C. ARMAS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 20, 6:21 PM ET) "SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Aaron Durley towers over the competition at the Little League World Series. The 13-year-old first baseman for Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, stands an imposing 6-foot-8 and weighs 256 pounds.
The Perfect Game - Official Trailer , from youtube.com The Perfect Game: A Perfect Baseball Movie for Spring
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service Friday, April 16, 2010 assistnews.net "..For those not familiar with the 1957 Youth World Series Game—where an unlikely team from Monterey, Mexico played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania against the much-favored American team—this movie is a must, if only for the little known historical facts offered.
But this movie is even more important for other reasons. First, in a very honest way, it tackles the problem of racism in America. What I appreciate is that it doesn’t criminalize any one group, but instead shows the good and the bad within each population.
Still with Cheech Marin, Clifton Collins, and boys
Second, Christians are portrayed with care. “The Perfect Game” doesn’t portray the Christian people as ignorant, insincere, or intolerant—as do so many other contemporary movies. Rather, the priest (played by Cheech Marin) and the pastor (played by John Cothran) are celebrated members of their community. They offer hope, love, and guidance for this rag-tag group of boys. For me, the portrayal of the clergy alone was worth going to the movie.
Third, the movie celebrates the importance of family. The relationship between the pitcher, Angel Macia, and his father (played by Carlos Gomez) portrays a real-life story of a valuable father-son relationship. Without giving away the movie, the story is very heart-warming.
Fourth, “The Perfect Game” is a fun-loving, feel-good movie: great for the whole family. With performances by Cheech Marin, Louis Gossett, Jr., Clifton Collins, and a cast of great young actors, the movie is sure to tug at your heart and perk your curiosity for the history of the game, still the only perfect game ever thrown in the World Series of youth baseball.
Furthermore, “The Perfect Game” gives us a glimpse into Mexican society in the 1950’s, showing a people of strong resolve, family ties, and hard workers. No stereotypes here.
Overall, “The Perfect Game” is about much more than baseball: it’s about life, family, faith, and hard work.
Do yourself a favor and go watch this perfect baseball game of the summer. You won’t be disappointed..
The Perfect Game - Trailer 2010
""There's NO crying in BASEBALL!!""
Related Sites: Wikipedia " * Although many players enlisted or were drafted into the military, Major League Baseball did not shut down for World War II. As mentioned in the film, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that keeping professional baseball and football active, even with the necessarily depleted talent pool, would be good for the morale of American soldiers overseas.
* Children were not allowed in the dugouts in reality and only very special exceptions were made to have them with their mothers on the road at all- for exactly the reasons depicted in the film with Stillwell-Angel.
* The real AAGPBL, contrary to what is shown in the film, did not play regulation baseball. In the real first season of the league, they played with a softball-sized ball and the bases were only 65 feet apart. Subsequent seasons would see the ball gradually shrunk to regulation size and the basepaths gradually lengthened to 85 feet (regulation basepaths are 90 feet)."
Charlie Sheen Reveals Steroid Use For 'Major League' RoleSource: Access Hollywood Wed Jun 29, 2011, 11:53 am EDT movies.yahoo.com "Charlie Sheen has revealed that he took his preparations for his role in 1989's "Major League" to the extreme.
"Let's just say that I was enhancing my performance a little bit. It was the only time I ever did steroids," the actor told Sports Illustrated in an interview featured in the new "Where Are They Now?" issue.
PLAY IT NOW: Jon Cryer Has ‘Nothing But Gratitude’ For Charlie Sheen’s Contributions To ‘Two And A Half Men’
"I did them for like six or eight weeks," he continued. "You can print this... my fastball went from 79 to like 85."
The former "Two and a Half Men" star also told the mag that character Ricky Vaughn's signature hairstyle combined with his steroid use was a dangerous combination.
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Winning, Tiger Blood & More! Shots Of Charlie Sheen
"I didn't like the haircut because it generated so many comments in bars. I've got enough of that already. Add that to the mix and it's a recipe for a fistfight," he continued.
The notorious lady-lover said the movie's physical demands cut into the amount of female visitors he had on set.
"It wasn't as bad as on 'Young Guns' [a year earlier]. We made that one in Santa Fe, and you would fly into Albuquerque and drive to Santa Fe on this two-lane highway. Literally, the girls that were leaving would pass the ones coming in," he recalled. "'Major League' was so physically demanding that you didn't have a lot of time for that. You're lying in bed and everything [hurts], and you're thinking, I have to pitch tomorrow?! But there were certain days that we'd look at the schedule for the next day and be like, 'Gentlemen, tonight we ride.'"
VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Many Women Of Charlie Sheen
The actor told the mag he loves how the classic baseball comedy has endured over the years.
"We had this party at my place a few months ago to watch 'Major League.' It was awesome. The beard was there -- Brian Wilson, from the [San Francisco] Giants. We had [former pro baseball players] Eddie Murray and Kenny Lofton. And I got David Ward to introduce the film. Colin Farrell showed up. And when my big strikeout at the end comes on, the place goes nuts like we've never even seen the movie before," he told the mag. "I'm in between my two girlfriends, and I look over and there's Colin Farrell giving me a thumbs-up. I reach behind me for a fist bump from Brian Wilson, who goes, 'Winning!' I'm telling you, [director] David Ward created a baseball classic, and baseball is all that matters in the world.
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Charlie Sheen: The Early Years
"You know, I always wonder what I'm going to be in the middle of when I die. And I just hope it's not in the middle of the greatest...pennant race ever," Sheen added.
Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Denise and Charlie, Heather and Richie
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As guests of the San Diego Padres, a team of 10 artists from Cirque du Soleil took to the field to wow the crowd with their slick tricks.
But it was Gabryel Nogueira da Silva who stole the show when he was offered the honour of doing the ceremonial first pitch.
Stepping up to the mound in a flamboyant mask and tights, Silva eyed up the catcher and set himself as if to throw with his left arm.
However, this was to be no ordinary pitch as he leapt into the air and spun around like a martial arts expert.
Once his feet touched the ground the pitch was made all the more impressive by the fact it was directly over the home plate - a picture-perfect start to the match.
Commentators were left stunned by the move and naturally, after a quick bow, the crowd gave him an appreciative clap for the worthy effort. ..
Listed are all Major League Baseball players with 134 or more home runs hit during official regular season games (i.e., excluding playoffs or exhibition games), the current cutoff for the top 500 (includes ties for the top 500, whenever applicable). Players in bold face are active as of the 2010 Major League Baseball season (including free agents), with the number in parentheses designating the number of home runs they hit during the 2010 season.
The stats are updated as of the end of the 2010 regular season "1 Barry Bonds 762
2 Hank Aaron 755
3 Babe Ruth 714
4 Willie Mays 660
5 Ken Griffey, Jr. 630
6 Alex Rodriguez (30) 613
7 Sammy Sosa 609
8 Jim Thome (25) 589
9 Frank Robinson 586
10 Mark McGwire 583"
"Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton who captured the attention of everyone at Monday night's All Star Home Run Derby, talks about how God helped him kick a drug and alcohol addiction."
*awesome story (Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins, won-yeah!-both are winners!)
Related Sites: Story of Josh Hamilton, from youtube.com "Josh Hamilton was the rookie of the Month for the Cincinnati Reds. He and his parents where in a car accident. After that point, he tired to fit in and ended up doing drugs. He attempted suicide. His wise choice was to choose Christ. Then he started seeing through the lens of a Christian he is now able to make the right decisions." Hamilton set to bury past
Updated 2/20/2007 12:18 AM ET (USA Today.com) "SARASOTA, Fla. � The lowest point was a dark night in the autumn of 2005.
Josh Hamilton, his body a prisoner to the demons of crack cocaine and alcohol, virtually crawled to his grandmother's house in North Carolina and cried out for help.
The taste of ashes had been in his mouth for a long time, but he says there was never a lower moment than when he showed up on Mary Holt's doorstep in Raleigh.
It was there after repeated failures to kick the habit that the onetime prodigy of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays picked up the pieces and began to rebuild his future.
Hamilton, his blue eyes bright and his body in superb condition, sat at a table in the Cincinnati Reds spring training camp Monday and talked about his battles with alcohol and cocaine addiction.
Hamilton, 25, is with the Reds because they landed 1999's No. 1 draft pick last December in a trade during the Rule 5 draft after he was left unprotected by the Devil Rays.
Under baseball rules, if Hamilton, who has played in only 15 minor league games in the last four years, doesn't make the Reds, he'll be put on waivers and available to any other team.
Before those 15 games last summer, Hamilton, an outfielder, had been out of baseball since July 2002 because of injuries and multiple drug suspensions.
Reds manager Jerry Narron, who sat next to Hamilton on Monday, has known him since he was a 15-year-old catcher in North Carolina.
"I couldn't be more excited about having him with us," says Narron, who thinks Hamilton has an excellent chance to beat the odds and make the team.
To understand how important this moment is for Hamilton, go back to the night he ran out of places to go and sought shelter with his grandmother.
"There were a lot of low points, but that was the worst," says Hamilton, who received a $3.96 million signing bonus from the Devil Rays. "Showing up 180 pounds � I weigh 230 pounds now, so imagine what I looked like. And facing her � she welcomed me with open arms.
"I lived there for the next couple of weeks and used a couple of times. One time she knew I was using and told me she couldn't take it anymore. That was the turning point."
Hamilton says he flicked the switch off Oct. 6, 2005. It was the last time he used cocaine and alcohol.
How difficult will it be to keep the switch turned off?
"If I rely on my relationship with God, anything is possible," he says. "Plus, I have an excellent support group."
Start with Hamilton's wife, Katie, his two young daughters and his father-in-law, Mike Chadwick. There's also Roy Silver, a former minor league coach and manager who runs Winning Inning, a Christian baseball camp in Clearwater, Fla.
Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky says the team will do everything possible to help Hamilton battle temptation. For example, when meal money is distributed, someone else will handle it for Hamilton.
"Katie and I have just one car in spring training," says Hamilton, alluding to the fact he will not venture out on his own.
Chadwick is a Raleigh contractor and motivational speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a recovering drug and alcohol addict.
Hamilton knew about Chadwick but says for some unexplained reason he contacted Chadwick during one of his low moments in September 2003.
"I knew the only way to get Josh back to being Josh was to love him back," says Chadwick, speaking from a Charlotte airport, where he was en route from one of his trips. "Sometimes it was tough love, and other times it was gentle love.
"I knew the guy I was looking at was not the guy who was inside that body. I had to find that guy. He showed up at our house 2 o'clock one morning, and it was like looking in the mirror 15-20 years ago. I didn't know much about his baseball, nor did I care about that. And I certainly didn't know I was looking at my future son-in-law. We talked until the sun came up."
Silver invited Hamilton to come to Clearwater after reading a newspaper article in which Hamilton said he wished he could talk to somebody. Hamilton swept dugouts, cut grass and cleaned toilets at Jack Russell Stadium. They mixed in some baseball, too.
For more than 30 minutes Monday, Hamilton talked about how his new world won't come to a screeching halt if he fails with the Reds.
When I looked straight into Hamilton's eyes, I saw sincerity and determination.
But this is only baseball.
"Yes, this is a feel-good story," Chadwick says, "but I told Josh to have a shovel in his hand and say, 'We can talk about anything you want, but after today I'm burying the past.' "
Yes. For Hamilton the future is now." Back in the Game real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel ; correspondent : John Frankel, Producer: Zehra Mamdani, Mike Sullivan September 21st 2010
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Josh Hamilton (HBO)
"..He came back to St. Paul this week to speak about his new focus: helping autistic children.
"We don't have children that are affected with autism but it's touched our lives tremendously. It's changed my life ... looking at the families," said Strawberry.
"It was breathtaking today, I thought. You know, you want to pleased for someone but that was, really that's like a two or three day smile for me," said Saints Owner and actor Bill Murray.
Strawberry's career ended with World Series titles with the New York Yankees. You sense after he's been through, his calling is not about that.
"Who did I help, who did I help in life that had struggles? Who did I help that had painful things that they had to deal with? What difference did I make in those people's lives?" said Strawberry..."
Albert Pujols, of the 2006 MLB World Series Champions-St. Louis Cardinals
"Pujols married his wife, Deidre, on January 1, 2000. They have three children, Isabella (Deidre's daughter, adopted by Albert), Albert Jr., and Sophia. Albert and his wife are active in the cause of people with Down syndrome, as Isabella was born with this condition. In 2005 (appropriately on May 5, which would be 05/05/05, 5 being Albert's number), they launched the Pujols Family Foundation which is dedicated to "the love, care and development of people with Down syndrome and their families", as well as helping the poor in the Dominican Republic. Pujols and his wife are very active Christians; as the foundation's website says, "In the Pujols family, God is first. Everything else is a distant second."
Albert & Diedre Pujols Christian Family Day 2007
"Personal testimony of Albert and Diedre Pujols during Christian Family Day 2007 after St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Game" A Heroes Worship, from CBN "Albert Pujols is one of baseball�s fastest rising talents, and he gives his credit to God.
�It doesn�t matter if I hit a home run. It doesn�t matter if we win a game. It doesn�t matter if I go four for four,� Pujols says. �Whatever happens at the end of the day, as long as I glorify His name, that�s what it�s all about.�
Albert made his Major League debut in 2001. Since then he�s in a league of his own, becoming the first player in baseball history to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first five seasons.
�I always say God doesn�t need me, but I need Him in my life to survive in this world and over temptation. That�s Who keeps me humble every time.�
Not long after graduating high school, Albert met his soon-to-be wife, Deidre. She had recently re-dedicated her life to Christ after becoming a single mother. Her daughter Isabella was born with Down Syndrome and was only a few weeks old when Albert and Deidre started dating. They began attending church together on a regular basis. While Albert believed in God, he knew he was missing something.
�I knew that it wasn�t about religion just a relationship with the Lord, and it�s one of those times when you�re ready," Pujols says. "You�re harboring and you feel it. You open new eyes, and I�m ready for it. I think I was ready to receive the Lord in my life. I�m telling you, after that it�s just been amazing. It�s been the best seven years of my life.�"
Daryl Strawberry, shared how Jesus has turned his life around after being in the media for doing drugs at TBN's Benny Hinn on 1/7/04-cool!
*Note: Played for St. Paul Saints for awhile between drug-rehab and MLB seasons.
"ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org "
SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- He was the youngest starting pitcher in Dodgers history, which led to some difficult moments for a fresh-faced kid with high ideals who learned to measure success God’s way.
Joe with Sandy Koufax, 1966
"I was drawn to God,” says Joe Moeller, who played for the Dodgers between 1962 and 1971 and now is an advance scout for the Florida Marlins.
He felt God’s tug on the heart from his earliest days. At only 8-years-old, he snuck out of his house in Manhattan Beach on Sunday mornings to attend a small church down the street. “My parents had no idea I did that,” he says.
While his mother was a Christian Scientist, his hardworking parents slept late on Sunday mornings and showed little interest in church. “My dad didn’t believe in anything,” he says.
Young Moeller walked himself into the back row pew each Sunday but couldn’t comprehend very much of what was happening. “We had a King James Bible at home but I didn’t understand a thing in it.” Still, the Lord continued to draw his heart.
One day a local youth pastor, Jim White, pulled up to Moeller on a motorcycle. “Want a ride?” he asked. It was a divine appointment on wheels.
Moeller accepted and they sped off. After a brief spin, White pulled over and asked Joe a serious question: “Do you know who Jesus Christ is? Moeller wasn’t sure how to respond.
“He’s the Son of God and he died for you,” White told the nine-year-old. “Do you want to accept Him?”
“Yes I do.” Joe said. From that moment, the course of his life was fundamentally different, with important ramifications for his athletic career.
Before Joe picked up a baseball glove, his father pushed him into archery. At six, he won the state championship in Illinois, where he spent his earliest years. The family – dressed in Western attire -- performed a vaudeville routine in rodeos and sports shows, with Papa Joe firing at balloons William Tell-style, and the rest of the family shooting bows and arrows.
Joe was forced to practice archery every afternoon until dark under his father’s watchful eye starting at a young age. “I hated archery,” Joe admits.
One day he got up the courage to ask his father an audacious question. “If I win the national championship, can I stop shooting archery?”
Dad thought about it and finally agreed, so young Moeller practiced intensely every day. “There was a focus and a concentration that helped me later on,” he notes. He won the national junior title at the U.S. Nationals held in Sacramento and never touched a bow and arrow again.
Not letting Joe rest on his laurels, dad wanted to know what his son’s next challenge would be. “I want to play in the major leagues some day,” he replied confidently, not knowing what might lie ahead.
With German roots, both parents were old-school disciplinarians. Dad was driven -- he expected a 100 percent effort for everything. “Dad would tell me he never wanted me to look back and wish I’d worked a little harder. That will haunt you the rest of your life, he said.”
"He was not abusive, but if I looked at him wrong I’d get decked."
Ultimately, Joe realizes his father gave him the tools to succeed at a very high level. “It was a coach-son relationship,” Joe says. “I give him credit for building into me what it takes to become a professional athlete. Other guys didn’t understand what it takes to get to that next level.”
Joe also possessed some natural gifts. At 12, the six-foot-tall youngster was throwing shutouts in his first year of Little League. “God blessed me with an arm,” he concedes. The Boston Red Sox gave the family $5,000 for “first rights” to his future career while Joe was still in Little League, an illegal practice today.
When Joe graduated from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, five cars were parked outside the family’s modest home, with reps from various teams prepared to make lofty offers.
Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers owner vilified by some for moving the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, also had his eye on Joe, and called Papa Joe a few weeks before the graduation. He invited the senior Moeller to sit with him behind home plate at a game, and extracted an important concession. “Promise me you talk to us last,” he said.
Detroit offered a $90,000 signing bonus. The Chicago Cubs offered $95,000. These were astronomical numbers for a family that lived paycheck to paycheck. "We weren’t really poor, but we ate eggplant for a week at a time,” Joe recalls.
Ultimately, the Dodgers won the bidding war through O’Malley’s shrewd style. “Walter was a brilliant man,” Joe says. “I was a Dodgers fan going back to Brooklyn,” which sealed the deal. Joe received $65,000; his brother Gary got $15,000, and Papa Joe got $10,000, in a deal structured to please everyone in the family and lighten the tax burden.
"I couldn’t turn it down,” Joe says. “It was my dream. Out of a half million kids who plays Little League, only one makes it to the Major Leagues.”
In his first season, Joe played in the minors for Reno, Greenville, and Spokane, where he won 20 games and struck out 295 batters. It was said that his curve ball was “as wicked as Sandy Koufax’s.”
During his time in Greenville, South Carolina, he fell in love with Lee, who
was just 16-years-old, and persuaded her parents they should get married. Moeller admits it was partly an effort on his part to assert his independence from his father. “My dad controlled everything I did,” he says. “I wanted to get out of his control and his clutches.”
Then at 19-years-old and two months, he became the youngest starting pitcher in Dodgers history, a record he still holds. But when he advanced to the majors, the unthinkable happened – his most formidable pitch disappeared.
Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder of
www.Godreports.com. He is available to speak to groups about the plight of the church in restricted countries, to share stories and testimonies from the mission field, and to preach the gospel.
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"Naples, Florida (CNN) -- Harold Seymour wrote baseball's first Bible, debunking some of the game's biggest myths.
He informed fans that Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York, (Footnote: There's evidence of games involving sticks, balls and bases being played in England in the 1700s.) and that Jackie Robinson wasn't the first black Major League player. (That distinction more likely went to Moses Fleetwood Walker in the 1880s.)
Three books produced over a span of 30 years made Seymour the dean of baseball historians, and his journey from batboy to Ph.D. was celebrated as a success story. The study of America's national pastime at last seemed "grownup and worthwhile," observes John Thorn, a colleague who followed in his footsteps.
But after Seymour died in 1992, his wife, Dorothy, set about debunking one more myth: that he had researched and written all three books on his own.
She was the student turned secretary who married her professor. Now, more than 50 years after the first book was published, baseball's scholars acknowledge that hers was the invisible hand that shaped the three volumes.
For years, she didn't question her subservient role. As he slipped into Alzheimer's, she wrote much of the third book herself but, as always, he refused to give her credit. She knows now that she was exploited and doesn't argue with people who say she was a victim of intellectual spousal abuse.
Seymour didn't just steal Dorothy's work, says Steve Gietschier, former chief of research at The Sporting News. "He stole her personhood."
She is Dorothy Seymour Mills now, remarried but "not retired" at 83. Her hair is perfectly coiffed in a stiff helmet, the style favored by women of a certain age. Her bright blue eyes crackle with intelligence. She wears a tailored pantsuit as she opens the door to her condo in Naples, Florida. Spring training is just getting under way, but she's no fangirl. In fact, she says, her interest in baseball is purely academic.
Just inside is the collection of brightly painted canes she uses to get around. She doesn't hobble, though, and on several occasions uses the tip of her cane to push open the automatic doors of the lushly landscaped assisted-living facility she calls home.
She might be a woman wronged, but she definitely is not a member of the Oprah Generation. She speaks without a hint of boastfulness or bitterness, and some details must be coaxed from her. Even then, she doesn't trash her late husband.
Hers is a story of love and learning -- and the evolving roles of men and woman, husbands and wives, in changing times.
"Things were different in the '50s and '60s," she says, explaining that before the women's movement, happy housewives greeted their husbands at the door with a martini on a tray and a roast in the oven. "In those days, women were expected to permit their husbands to take over everything."
Eventually, the baseball research that brought the Seymours together drove a wedge between them. She started her own writing projects, and he scoffed at them. She waited more than a decade after he died, and then she spilled the beans in her 2004 memoir "A Woman's Work."
She wasn't driven by a quest for glory, she says. It simply was a historian's duty to set the record straight.
Chapter One: Spring
In baseball, things tend to come in threes: three strikes, three outs, three innings times three. As former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti famously observed, a baseball season unfolds in three acts -- spring, summer and fall -- and it is designed to break your heart.
Dorothy Seymour Mills' story follows Giamatti's seasons. In the spring of life, she married her history professor. She blossomed in the summer as they worked side by side. And in the autumn of their years together, she came into her own as his light faded.
Even as a teenager in Cleveland, she broke through barriers to go where the boys went. She was the first in her family to go to college and, through a work-study program, she became a copy boy at the Cleveland News. "When a reporter shouted, 'Boy!' I jumped and reported for duty," she recalls. She couldn't wait to be a journalist.
She took notice of professor Harold Seymour when she enrolled in his contemporary affairs class at Fenn College, now part of Cleveland State University. He told her she had a "teach me if you can" attitude. But before long, she was working as his secretary, and they were having a contemporary affair of their own. She was pushing 20; he was nearly twice her age.
They both had working-class roots, and her dark, shoulder-length hair complemented his carrot top. She was prim, proper and organized; he was more scattered.
He had grown up in Brooklyn, a diehard Dodgers fan. He was a batboy for the team and worked on the New York waterfront during World War II. She found his stories fascinating.
They married in May 1949, the day after she completed her junior year. He was working on his doctoral thesis: exploring the origins of baseball. It was his passion, not hers.
"I saw in Seymour a handsome redhead who had already established himself in his profession," she recalls. "Of course, he seemed like a romantic figure. I was flattered and pleased to have a mature man attracted to me."
She transferred to what is now Case Western Reserve University to finish her senior year. If student-teacher affairs are scandalous now, they seemed even more so in the staid 1950s. Dorothy wanted to avoid drawing stares and fanning gossip as both a student and a faculty wife at Fenn.
Seymour convinced her to obtain a teaching certificate so they could spend summers together working on his research.
"I thought, 'Gee, this is a new life I'm starting out on, even if it's not what I had in mind.' "
There's an old saying in academic circles that a husband works on his Ph.D. while a wife gets her Ph.T., "Putting Hubby Through." From the beginning, Dorothy did more than type. Their travels took them to her favorite places: libraries. And to male bastions like the newsroom of The Sporting News.
Wearing a dress, a hat and white gloves, Dorothy created a stir. The editor later wrote Seymour a note, commenting, "I wondered why a man who had such a nice-looking wife was hauling her around a baseball publication office to check some records."
After all, in the early 1950s, a woman's place was in the home.
"She loves her washing machine and irons her husband's shirts, being careful not to see a ring around the collar because she chose the right detergent," Dorothy says. "Later on, we learned from people in the women's movement that if these men had washed their necks, they wouldn't have ring around the collar."
As a good '50s wife, she typed the 632-page dissertation in which Seymour traced baseball from a childhood pursuit of boys into a full-fledged business and American cultural centerpiece. Cornell University awarded him his doctorate in 1956, and the dissertation helped launch sports history as a legitimate scholarly pursuit. It grew into his first baseball history book, published in 1960.
Dr. Seymour's wife knows now that she probably contributed more to that dissertation than the academic world would consider appropriate. In the preface, Seymour acknowledged "the help of numerous individuals and organizations."
He did not mention Dorothy.
Chapter Two: Summer
Seymour's second baseball book came 11 years after the first. Twenty passed until the third published in 1990. As he taught at high schools and community colleges, Dorothy taught elementary school. She wrote a dozen children's books in the mid-1960s and was paid $100 for each. One, "Ann Likes Red," became a classic.
The reading books led her into publishing. As an editor at a midsize Boston publishing house, Ginn & Co., she noticed that the husband-and-wife writing teams she edited shared credit. It was an "a-ha moment" that sparked the first twinge of discontent, and it came at a time when the women's movement was awakening.
"It's true he was the one who had the idea. The problem with me was, because he had the idea, I kept thinking of the whole project as his. And it wasn't. It became mine as well. I just made that assumption, and it wasn't the right assumption."
Once fun-loving, Seymour grew aloof. He would not acknowledge colleagues in the growing field of sports history. He felt slighted, she says.
"He thought himself very important but insufficiently recognized. He felt the need to be the big star, and the way to accomplish that was let people think he'd done all the work himself."
She didn't push back because she wanted to keep the peace. She found Seymour volatile and difficult to live with, and so silence became a habit.
"He was often more ready to deliver insults than to give praise," she says. "His focus was almost always upon himself. He had shrunk in my estimation."
Others who knew Seymour agree that he was gruff and seemed to suffer from an inferiority complex.
"Even in correspondence, he was prickly, crusty, hypersensitive to how his stature was perceived, but to me he was a god," says Thorn, the baseball scholar. "Dorothy was nowhere. She was invisible."
The former researcher for The Sporting News, Gietschier, agrees. "He was a very dominant and aggressive personality, and to even suggest that her name be on the title page was simply beyond the pale."
By the 1970s, Seymour was falling into increasingly long bouts of depression. He became reclusive, spending most of his time in his study, smoking his pipe and reading history books. By the 1980s, Dorothy was working on the project by herself at night.
"He was just all bound up inside himself."
Their roles had reversed. She was the writer, he the reviewer of her work. She began to stretch in other ways. She bought a computer. (He was against it.) She took out a credit card. (He was against it.) She insisted on getting a telephone in the house.
By 1987, he had checked out, Dorothy says. She was coming up with the ideas, conducting all of the research and preparing chapter outlines so detailed, they became the actual chapter drafts. By then, she also knew "something was seriously wrong with Seymour."
It would take another five years for a doctor to give Seymour's ailment a name: Alzheimer's.
As she drafted the manuscript of the third book, she formally asked Seymour to share credit on the title page, writing a memo detailing her contribution. It was dated June 1, 1989.
"But he felt that he could not do that," she says. "He couldn't really explain. I'm sure he felt it was entirely his. He felt it, even though it wasn't."
After she asked for credit, he would not let her attend a meeting with his editor. She stayed behind in the hotel room, even though she had written the last 13 chapters herself. Ironically, the publisher, Oxford University Press, paid her $1,000 to edit the manuscript, not knowing she'd written it.
Chapter Three: Autumn
In 1992, as Seymour's health rapidly failed, Dorothy contacted his longtime editor, Sheldon Meyer, about the royalty checks. She raised the issue of her contribution, and Meyer responded that he was "astounded" but doubted anything could be done about adding her name to the books.
"It is certainly an injustice to you," he wrote in a letter Dorothy keeps to this day.
Seymour was hospitalized in July and died that September. He was 82, and they had been married 43 years.
It was a "fascinating life," she says. It opened doors she'd never imagined, but it also limited her. And yet she never considered divorce. In her generation, it simply wasn't done.
"Before he was diagnosed, I asked myself, what do you do with a person you've become estranged from? You don't throw away a person that you've lived your life with. You must stick with that person and support him as much as you can."
A year after Seymour's death, she went on a Christmas cruise and met Roy Mills, also recently widowed and retired from the Canadian Royal Air Force. They fell in love and married in 1995. She says she learned for the first time what it was like to have a supportive spouse.
Gaining formal recognition would take a while longer.
In 1993, the Society for American Baseball Research added her name and image to its Seymour medal, an annual award given to the author of the best baseball history.
She alone was the recipient of the 1996 Seymour medal, and she considers the honor one of the highlights of her life. She believed her work finally was being acknowledged.
She told her story in an essay published in the now-defunct online literary journal Blue Ear in 2000. It created a ripple among baseball fans and historians and led to her memoir, "A Woman's Work," published in 2004.
Gietschier, who wrote the foreword, says his own research brought him to Cornell's Carl A. Kroch Library and the more than 70 boxes that make up the Harold and Dorothy Seymour Collection. The evidence was indisputable; the notes were written in two hands, one of them distinctly feminine. It was without a doubt a partnership.
Dorothy thought the matter settled until it arose again last summer, when the Society for American Baseball Research gave her late husband its Chadwick Award, honoring baseball's most important historians.
This time, Dorothy raised up her voice in protest. This time, she had Gietschier and other male supporters.
Thorn, whose latest book, "Baseball in the Garden of Eden," will be published this spring, was on the selection committee. He explains what the three members were thinking:
"We felt that we should not be an ice-breaking vessel in the world of scholarship when Oxford University Press had not given her credit. Maybe we ducked our responsibility there. We could have done the right thing and taken the stance, because we all believed that she had been given short shrift."
It took just three days for the committee to come around: The Chadwick was awarded to both Harold and Dorothy Seymour.
Thorn and Gietschier took up her cause with Oxford University Press. Executive Editor Timothy Bent had been at Oxford for 18 years, but it was the first time Dorothy's claim had crossed his desk.
Bent confirmed that Dorothy had worked on all three books. And in August, Oxford University Press took the unprecedented step of adding her name to the three book jackets. The hard copies are out of print, but her name lives on in the digital versions of "Baseball: The Early Years" and "Baseball: The Golden Age."
And her name comes first on "Baseball: The People's Game."
In April, all three will become available through print on demand.
Bent says the change in the author's voice in that third book was impossible to ignore.
Even Dorothy's staunchest supporters say they can't understand why she didn't protest sooner.
"Of course, Dorothy made a terrible personal and strategic error in not voicing her contribution earlier and more strongly," Thorn says. "She will always have to overcome that perception, that she seized the field when it was hers alone. But I believe her story.
"Sometimes she forgets that she is a conspirator in her own predicament. I do respect Dorothy and admire her, but she doesn't get a pass."
Dorothy doesn't give herself one. Over a salad served on good china and white tablecloths in her retirement complex's dining room, she admits she was "annoyed" with herself for many years. But she didn't speak up because she didn't want to upset her husband. Her explanation reflects the prevailing attitude of a generation in which most women were married with children by age 25; the men wore the pants in the family, and their wives often were described as "long-suffering."
"This came to me when I was too young," she explains. "That's why I was so easily persuaded. If I had to do it again, I would wait until I was well established in a profession and then look around. I think those women who wait and don't marry as young women are smart."
Besides, she says, delayed recognition is better than none at all. She sees parallels between her story and the women ballplayers of a bygone era made popular by the movie "A League of Their Own."
"They were exploited, too. They took the place of the men who were sent to fight in the war. Afterward, they were dismissed. They were no longer needed. They were sent home."
She has just finished a historical novel about baseball. This time the protagonist is a player of the early 20th Century whose minor league contract is canceled by the baseball commissioner because she is a woman.
Dorothy's pitch to her book editor reveals what lies behind the hats and white gloves of her upbringing:
"Most women 'go along with' what happens to them even if it is unfair and causes them pain. They acquiesce because they have been conditioned not to fight back but to work within the system. But what if those women had refused to 'be nice about it?' What if they had become so angry that they attempted to retaliate against their perceived opponents?"
Without giving away too much of the plot, suffice it to say that in the next baseball book authored by Dorothy Seymour Mills, a man gets his just deserts.
"This time," she says with a smile, "there's a murder."
"LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS) -- For Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and defending Cy Young Award recipient and Regal author Clayton Kershaw every strikeout in 2012 matters—for his team on the field and also for children at risk on two continents.
Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Dodgers
According to a news release, Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, have announced that for the second consecutive year they will donate $100 each time he strikes out an opposing batter as the centerpiece of what they call Kershaw’s Challenge: Striking Out to Serve. During the 2012 season, which begins today with Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers in San Diego, the funds will go to four diverse non-profit causes, including one in Southern California, one in the Kershaw’s home state of Texas, a national movement called “I Am Second,” and the work with orphans in Africa that started it all.
Kershaw’s Challenge: Strike Out to Serve (www.kershawschallenge.com), which has just been re-launched, began in 2011. For each of the league-leading 248 batters the Dodger ace struck out last season, he and his wife, Ellen, gave $100 to help build a new children’s home in Zambia, teaming up with Arise Africa (www.Ariseafrica.org). Kershaw also donated a portion of the monetary prizes he received for baseball honors and added direct contributions from others to bring the total amount raised to $202,000.
In January 2012, the Kershaw’s traveled to Lusaka, Zambia for the second consecutive off-season, walking the land where the new home is now under construction. To be called Hope’s Home, this orphanage will be a safe haven for about one dozen at-risk children.
Ellen and Clayton with Hope
“Our inspiration is a 12-year-old girl named Hope,” Kershaw said. “She is an HIV orphan who stole our hearts. She desperately needs a place to call home.”
The Kershaws tell the story of their dream to serve others in Zambia (and baseball stories, too) in Arise, a book they co-authored and released in January 2012.
Seventy-percent of the 2012 Kershaw’s Challenge proceeds will go toward Arise Africa projects in Zambia, including furnishing the orphanage, purchasing adjacent farmland so the children can learn to grow crops, building a chicken coop, establishing a medical emergency fund and funding a child feeding program.
Why Zambia? As a high school student, Ellen Kershaw was moved by a segment on orphans in Africa featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In college, she decided to make a difference, and has now traveled to Zambia six times, joining forces with Arise Africa.
The Kershaws remain committed to Africa, but their desire strike out to serve goes further. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the 2012 challenge will go to three nonprofit organizations, each receiving 10 percent. The Kershaws will partner with the Peacock Foundation in Los Angeles (www.peacockfoundation.org), Mercy Street in Dallas (www.mercystreetdallas.org) and I Am Second (www.iamsecond.com).
The Peacock Foundation uses rescued animals in a therapy program to bring healing to at-risk and traumatized children and their families throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Kershaws Challenge will help fund a Peacock Foundation program called Creature Comfort.
Mercy Street seeks to see transformation in a West Dallas, Texas, neighborhood, through mentoring, sports and community development. Kershaws Challenge will fund a youth baseball program for inner city kids with baseball equipment.
I Am Second is a nationwide grassroots and media campaign that empowers people in various walks of life to live for God and others. Clayton Kershaw’s I Am Second film goes live online today at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
The essence of Kershaw’s Challenge: Striking Out to Serve is that the better you do, the more you give, making whatever you do about something more. Kershaw says, “Baseball is more than just a passion of mine. It’s a platform to do more, to give back to our community, and to make a difference in the world.” In 2011, the Kershaws were thrilled when college, high school and little league baseball players joined The Challenge, donating 25 cents or $1 or more per batter they struck out or per hit they got. Non-athletes partnered, too, donating various amounts.
“We all have a platform and a sphere of influence,” Kershaw says. “No matter how old you are, you can make a difference right now. I encourage you to create a Challenge of your own. Figure out what you are talented at or passionate about, and use that to give back to others. As I strike out to serve others this session, I encourage you to also give back in your own unique way.”
For more information, please contact:
Contact: Ann Higginbottom
"They [train] to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. �1 Corinthians 9:25
Sports brings out the best and the worst in people. The news media often focus on the worst. Those who comfort players with "It's not whether you win or lose that counts; it's how you play the game" seldom make world news. But once in a while they do.
After a baseball team from Georgia defeated a team from Japan in the Little League World Series, one reporter wrote: "The boys from Warner Robins left a lasting impression of their inner character for the world to see. They proved again, it's not whether you win or lose that counts. It is, how you play the game."
When the losing players broke down in tears, the winning team members stopped their victory celebration to console them. "I just hated to see them cry," said pitcher Kendall Scott, "and I just wanted to let them know that I care." Some referred to the moment as "sportsmanship at its best."
It was indeed heartwarming, but it points out that sports�even at its best�is an imperfect metaphor for Christianity. In sports, someone always loses. But when someone is won to Christ, the only loser is Satan.
For Christians, true teamwork is not about defeating opponents; it's about recruiting them to join our team (1 Cor. 9:19-22). � Julie Ackerman Link
Lord, too often I view as my enemies those who don't know You. Help me love them as You love them. Help me gently share Your truth with them. Help me see them as part of Your great mission field. Amen.
Tact is the knack of winning a point without making an enemy."
Thanks Marcelo for the good "ole" times playing baseball with many childhood friends in our backyard. Yes, we are all grown-up now, but don't forget to have that "child-like" heart (Matthew 18:3). I will never forget the good and bad times we had as we tried to live our dream to play professional baseball. It was fun going after this dream! Also, I will never forget the times trading baseball cards-you'll always be an expert in this trade! Bring this to your everyday life!