Baseball's shared language

October 23rd, 2019

It’s an interesting time for sports. Hockey season is off and running. Football is halfway through the season. This morning’s newspaper announced the annual basketball media event for the new season. Soccer is so universally played it seems to be an “all season” gala. But even so, the All-American Pastime of baseball is about to claim its place. Whether it’s being played on a well-manicured field or in a backyard, the cry of “Play ball!” is in the air. It’s time for the World Series.

Baseball is not a piece of the theological puzzle, but if we can play a bit loose, it does have some interesting common language or thoughts.

Sacrifice: In the game of baseball, a sacrifice is something done by a hitter (the person at the plate) for the benefit of others. In so doing, he is giving up his personal opportunity for the benefit of others. It is usually a bunt or a well-hit fly ball allowing a base runner to advance in position.

Balk: A balk is associated with the pitcher making a commitment to throw the ball and then doesn’t follow through. He starts the pitch and abruptly stops.

Bullpen: The bullpen is the nearby area to the playing field where players are readying themselves for active participation on the field in the event they are needed.

Tag up: When on base, there is often a bit of wandering away from the bag. Tagging up and returning is a part of the game.

As a part of the community of faith, we are commissioned through baptism to take our place in the batter’s box and give it everything we have.

Sometimes after delivering my all from the pitcher’s mound (the pulpit) I long to hear the words of “Lift High the Cross” or some such rousing hymn. I want to hear the body of Christ become awake with shouts of “getting with it.” Since the World Series is now before us, maybe it would be OK if the organ opened all the pipes and in one accord we all shouted . . . CHARGE!

This post was also published at Christian Living in the Mature Years.

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