They call it America’s favorite pass-time, BASEBALL. Most of us at one time or another attended a major league game. If we have not been to one in person we for sure have the TV blasting out a play by play of the game each season. Tiger fans knew Ernie Harwell as their sports caster for over 42 years. Some called him the voice of baseball.
He was known for his low-key delivery, southern accent (Detroit "Ti-guhs"), and conversational style. Some of his trademark phrases were:
• "That one is long gone!" (His trademark home run call, with an emphasis on "long")
• "He stood there like the house by the side of the road, and watched it go by." (After a called strikeout)
• "Called out for excessive window shopping." (Also after a called strikeout)
• "It's two for the price of one!" (After a double play)
• "A fan from [insert a city] will be taking that ball home today." (When a fan would catch a foul ball)
• "The Tigers need instant runs." (When the team was behind in the late innings)
Harwell would also begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV): "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." i
I would not call myself a baseball nut by any means, but I do however live with one so I am somewhat familiar with what the love for baseball is all about.
Add a winning season and the stadium will be sold out! The enthusiasm for the game will go ballistic and the fans will look like they just came from a finger painting contest. Did you know that up to 70,000 hot dogs are sold at one major league baseball game…now that’s a lot of dogs!! But then again who could resist a hot dog when you’re watching a baseball game and have the fever. Did you know major league baseball tickets go from $11.00 all the way up to $90.00 if you’re a Yankees fan. I wonder how much a Yankee hot dog is.
I am amazed at the devotion America has for sports. The long drive in heavy traffic, waiting in line, over paying for food, jumping up and down, screaming at the top of your lungs and on the list could go. Wait a minute. I do love to have fun myself…I feel the same way about Disneyland. There is however a point to this story.
Last fall, September 18th was called “back to church Sunday”. What? Why should there be a back to church Sunday…we should have never left! Summer, church attendance in America drops. Unfortunately most people who say they attend church on a regular basis only show up 1-2 times per month. We have all heard the phrase, “you don’t have to go to church to believe in God”. Seriously, how would I learn about baseball if I never went to a game? And if I really wanted to know about the game I would start playing it, studying it and it would have precedence in my life. I would eat, drink and sleep baseball (and some people do).
The Bible our manual for life does have direction for us.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
I would like to encourage you…let this be your back to Sunday Church week, for the rest of your life.