I am a baseball fan, and in spite of living in Texas Rangers country, I root for the New York Yankees. But to be honest, my Yankees were the teams from 1958-1964. The names of Howard, Berra, Ford, Mantle, Maris, Stengal, and Kubek remind me of my "wonder bread" years of living in New York City during the almost Noble Age of Baseball.
A player that I liked a lot then and admire the most now is Bobby Richardson. He played second base and spent his entire playing career in the Yankee organization. But Bobby was different. He didn't just claim or talk about being a Christian, he lived like one and still does today.
I own and have read his autobiography published in 1965 and I also have an autographed copy of his 2012 memoir entitled Impact Player. Both books discuss the challenges of being in the Major Leagues but staying true to your beliefs and not being caught in the temptations of the Major Leagues' lifestyle.
I had the opportunity to meet Bobby a number of years ago when he came to Abilene, Texas, to participate in the Big Country Celebrity Quail Hunt; Bobby likes to hunt quail. He was kind and gracious and signed a lot of baseballs that I gave to sponsors of the event. He was very willing to do anything he could to help.
I am struck by the fact that our culture disregards the "role model" for the "role idol" where everything celebrities do is worshipped including their unseemly behavior and outward expressions.
Like Bobby Richardson, there are some celebrities who strive to live the Christ-like life and most never earn the spotlight for it or are ridiculed.
Doing right is always good, but not always honored by the world around you.
At the end of Impact Player, Bobby Richardson writes,
When accounts of my life are written, I hope two things will be said of me. First, that I played baseball in a way that made my team better. Second, and more important, that I lived my life in a way that drew others to my Savior. To God be the glory.
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