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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Vantage Point: Faith on the Diamond

By Ken Horn
Aug. 11, 2013

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., elected its first members: Ty Cobb, George Herman Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. Mathewson was an anomaly. He had a strong Christian testimony that was reflected in his nickname. In an era of colorful sports handles, Mathewson’s was not nearly as flashy as the other four’s. Johnson was known as the Big Train; Cobb, the Georgia Peach; Wagner was the Flying Dutchman; and, of course, Ruth was the Babe ... or the Bambino.

Mathewson, one of the most dominant pitchers in any era of the game, was known by a relatively subdued nickname: The Christian Gentleman. That doesn’t seem a very exciting name for one of the nation’s first true sports superstars, playing in New York City for the Giants. But it defined him ... to everyone. (He was also known as Big Six.)

Mathewson was one of the earliest big-name stars to openly and effectively proclaim Christ. That legacy has been deemed worthy of maintaining on the official Christy Mathewson website (www.christymathewson.com): “In a time when baseball was known for hard-living, hard-drinking baseball players, there was Christy Mathewson to prove that there was another way for athletes to live. He was the role model after whom every parent wanted their children to shape their lives.”

Such testimonies can increasingly be found, but they are far from common. But last year, another New York pitcher followed in the steps of Mathewson ... in both the sports and spiritual realms. The Mets’ R.A. Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award as the league’s best pitcher. And, like Mathewson, Dickey lets Christ be clearly seen in his life. He has been involved in a number of ministries, including Bombay Teen Challenge in India.

Kids (and adults for that matter) can use some high-profile athletes with Christian character as role models. And everyone needs to know there are people who love God in highly visible positions.

Mathewson and Dickey are two who have proven you can play ball with the best and still serve God.

There are other Christians in baseball, some stronger in the faith than others. Let’s pray that God will both keep them and use them.

Ken Horn
Editor

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