A Dodgers' World Series and God

The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers were in the World Series, it left an impression on me as a 10-year-old kid that I have not forgotten to this day.

I love the Fall Classic.  Over the years, I have found memories of watching playoff baseball, even when my Redsox don't fare so well.  Seeing the Dodgers make the World Series this year is kind of cool.  They haven't been in this position in 29 years. 

The last time the Dodgers played for a title was 1988.  I was barely 10, and I was in the midst of my baseball obsession prime.  I played little league ball.  I collected baseball cards and traded them with my friends.  I pretended I was a professional ball player in my back yard.  I would toss the ball to myself and hit it as far as I could.  All the while, I'd also be the commentators, making comments about my own game.  I loved baseball, and I just knew that I was going to grow up and play professional baseball.  As a kid, I really thought that being a professional ball player was the end all, be all of life.  To me, nothing was greater than being a baseball player.

When the '88 World Series happened, you have to go back and appreciate the context.  At the time, I wasn't too fond of the Oakland A's.  In fact, I hated them.  Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were the Bash Brothers, and while it was amazing to watch....they also had an arrogance about them that made them unlikeable to me.  Plus, they beat the Redsox in the ALCS.  So after that, I became a huge Dodger fan, rooting heavily for them to beat the overbearing and powerful A's.

Game 1 is what so many people remember.  Kirk Gibson, the Dodgers' power-hitting leader, was injured.  However, he came off of the bench to pinch hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  The A's were leading the game 4-3, and Dennis Eckersley, the A's star closer, was on the mound.  With a man aboard, a limping Gibson, hit a 2-run walk-off home run to win the game.  The victory killed the A's momentum and eventually propelled the Dodgers to win the World Series.

I remember watching that game in amazement with my family in the living room.  It was one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in sports, and it still is to this day.  It was like watching a real-life version of the movie, The Natural.

Although that game and home run were both amazing, that isn't what left the biggest impression on me as a kid.  What spoke to me even more were the actions of Dodgers' pitcher, Orel Hershisher.  If you don't know who he is, Google him.  Hershisher Tebowed before Tebowing was even a thing.  He was the first professional athlete that I can remember being so outspoken with his faith.  Before he took the mound, and often after he recorded the final outs of ballgames, I remember Orel getting on his knees, praying, and thanking God.  He'd do it all by himself, right there next to the mound, in front of thousand of fans and millions watching on television.  It blew me away!

Like I said, at the time, I thought baseball was everything.  However, seeing a pitcher play for something much bigger than himself or his team, made me realize how much bigger and more important God was in relation to everything else in the cosmos.  I didn't quite word it like that as a kid, but that's how I felt watching Orel Hershisher.  His testimony helped give me a new perspective.  That perspective was that baseball is just a game, but God truly is life.

Over the years, I've appreciated watching athletes with solid testimonies, glorify God with their abilities.  But more than that, I'm thankful for anyone that takes their opportunity in the spotlight to defer the credit and glory back to God!  My prayer is that if I am ever found to be in any similar position that I will do the exact same!  Because God is worthy!