I was a 7th round pick out of South Alabama in the 1990 draft and spent a total of 7 seasons in the minor leagues playing for the Baltimore Orioles. A childhood dream come true against some very long odds.
Approximately half of these 7 years were spent on the disabled list recovering from 2 elbow surgeries. I never threw a single pitch in the major leagues. Not a glamorous pro career but one I am still very proud to have had.
During this tenure I never prayed for fortune or fame. Honestly, I didn’t pray on a consistent basis back then but when I did my baseball related “ask” was simple. To know what it felt like to stand on the mound in a big league stadium wearing a big league uniform, and pitch.
That was it. Lord, I just want to know what it feels like. Key word in that sentence, “I”. Never if it is your will, or for your glory, just for me and my glory.
During the fall of 1993, I had the good fortune of being selected as an extra on the Cleveland Indians team (#17) in the movie Major League II, which was filmed at Camden Yards in Baltimore. I spent almost three months on the set and ended up getting a lot of air time. No lines but I’m scattered throughout the movie.
To this day I still can’t believe that happened. I mean seriously, what are those odds for a kid from Rocky Creek, Mississippi?
Cleaning out a while back I came across the picture you see above. It is a shot taken by another extra from the outfield stands during a scene that was being filmed. I’m the guy standing on the mound……. in a big league stadium, wearing a big league uniform, and I’m pitching. Prayers answered.
I must have sat and stared at that photo for 10 minutes the day I found it. The irony. I didn’t see it then but 20+ years later it is crystal clear. I received precisely what I asked for.
I didn’t receive it my way. I received it His way, in His time and for reasons I have just in recent years started to understand. It all had to happen just like it happened. Without all of “that” there would be none of “this”.
The writer downer? It’s not simply all about me and my story. Me and my story are important because my life allows God to work through me to reach other people, just as he works through other people to reach me. It’s about His story and taking my place in it. It’s about His will not mine.
Get in the boat. Do your part.
Shane / #16
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