Posted October 22, 2004

A Baseball Parable
By D. B. Martin

The Cardinals and the Red Sox will begin the 2004 World Series next this week in Boston. So baseball is a hot topic of conversation these days. Here is an interesting true story we have called “A Baseball Parable.”

In 1924 the World Series between the New York Giants and the Washington Senators was tied after six games. Griffith stadium in Washington was packed for the final game on October 10, 1924. They came to the ninth inning with the game score tied at three runs each.

New York was put down in order and Washington came to bat. The home team fans screamed for one lone run, which would win the series and the world championship. The first two men made outs and it looked like extra innings. Then a player named Leon “Goose” Goslin came to the plate.

Two strikes were called and then two balls. The crowd was watching every pitch. On the fifth pitch, Goslin stepped into the ball and slammed it to left center field. The crowd became delirious; it looked like a home run, but it hit inches below the top of the wall and fell back into the field of play.

Goslin was slowing down for a triple when the third base coach waved him on to try for an in-park home run. The short stop took the peg from left center, and fired the ball to the catcher. Goslin slid into home in a cloud of dust, seemingly a split second before the tag. The catcher followed the routine of throwing the ball around the bases, just in case, while waiting for the umpire to make the call. The umpire made a delayed call, consulting the other umpires, and then cried, “You’re out!”

Washington player/manager, Bucky Harris, along with his team and fans, rushed onto the field, protesting the call. The umpire secured order, and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the batter is out because he didn’t touch first base!”

The game went into extra innings and in the bottom of the twelfth inning Early McNeely hit an infield ground ball, which should have been an easy out but took a bad bounce over the third baseman’s glove into left field. That was enough to score Washington catcher Ruel from third base with the winning run. This was the first world championship Washington won and it was on, what some would call, an unearned run.

Evangelist Angel Martinez had a sermon he called, “Play Ball.” First base represented salvation, Second base, baptism and church membership, third base was Christian service and home plate heaven. In his conclusion, he told the above true story about that famous World Series game. He said, you can be baptized and join the church and do many good works but if you miss first base of salvation, you too, will be called out at the home plate of heaven. The only way you can get to heaven is through Jesus Christ, because you can’t get to the first base of salvation without Jesus. In fact, if you receive Him as your Lord and Savior, God will count Jesus as your “pinch hitter” and Calvary as a home run for you. Believe in Jesus and some day He will welcome you home to heaven. Amen!

© 2004 D. B. Martin.

Note From Author: I am a retired Southern Baptist Pastor living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, serving as Missions Director of Bethel Baptist Church of Chesapeake. This website and these email bulletins are other ways I continue my ministry in retirement. This goes out to more than 600 addresses. I hope it is a blessing to you. Feel free to forward or use them in serving our Lord. If you have suggestions or questions or know of someone else who would like to receive them, please email us. They are free. Also, if you would like your name removed from our email list, let us know and it will be done.
Meanwhile, God bless you, D. B. Martin

To view previous Maranathalerts, see the Maranathalert Archives.

Note: “Maranatha” means, “Behold He Is Coming,” an early Christian greeting. “Alert,” reminds us to be ready. Blessings in Jesus! D.B.