Friday, September 30, 2011



Welcome to Fridays with Phyllis!

When it comes to baseball…I’m in for the long haul! I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan who learned to “Go crazy folks!” from Jack Buck. And I DO. I follow the game and the players, not obsessively, but enough to miss them when they’re traded.
I even notice what they do off the field, investing themselves and their money in projects to help others hit the ball out of the park!

I don’t keep a scorecard or collect signed balls, but I do add to my baseball facts a bit each year. This season the learning curve blocked me on what SB stands for. I never paid attention to it before, sitting in the column right next to RBI and HR which are easy to figure out. But SB? I texted my Son-in-law, who started out with the Cards as a bat boy when he was a kid and still works there. “What’s SB stand for?” He’s a man of few words. Texted back, “Stolen Bases.” I could not keep those two simple words in my head. I’d go to SB and my brain delivered Street Blues, Swinging Ball, South Bark. Finally, after I said Stolen BASES OUT LOUD and told someone how puzzling this was and said Stolen Bases to them out loud, on the 3rd day I kept it in my head.

So it’s been with mounting anticipation I’ve stayed up late with my laptop to watch out of town or catch games on XM or wherever I find myself on game day. I’ve agonized, sympathized, criticized as the Cards came back from injuries and defeat time and time again this season. I’ve watched their coach, Tony LaRussa,
explain his strategy to keep them focused, admitting when and why it didn’t work, always putting a frank and upbeat face on it, even tho his own facial expression seldom changes, win or lose! It’s been fascinating to hear Albert Pujols talk about his comeback potential and keeping his eye on the goal to do his best at the game.

The STL Cardinals are perhaps the biggest surprise in baseball this year, coming from 8.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves to win the wild card slot this week! After 162 games this season, fans now buzz about who’s the "team of destiny!" And so it goes…this baseball fever.

Why this fuss about a game, a national past time called baseball? Well, for one thing it’s Biblical. Yeah…. Right off the bat, the Bible starts out in Genesis, “In the Big Inning” God created the heavens and the earth!

Some stunning stats are tucked into my head as I bask in the unpredictable down to the wire, Wild Card win. It’s been more than an energizing distraction for me. I’ve learned from this team about being down but not out, about a daily enabling for the task at hand, about putting the naysayers’ doom and gloom aside, keeping your eye on the prize, staying in the zone, being a team player

In my exhilaration over this huge win and my anticipation for the future of this series…I’m thinking, "Wait a second, how did I help in this win?" This piece speaks to that, by Gerhard Frost.


I remember a moment long ago
In a small-town restaurant.

We’d played a basketball game –
Played away from home and won,
And were in a celebrative mood.
I was fourteen, and not very good,
Nor was our team, and this made victory
Sweeter still.

As we crowded into a booth
I jauntily said, “Well, we won!”
Quick as the flash of a knife
Came the remembered words:
“What do you mean, ‘we’?
You didn’t play!”

I can’t forget the words
Or the one who spoke them,
But I can turn to other words,
Sounding in my soul.
My Lord says, “This do in remembrance of me.”
Baptized into the death of Christ
I die in Him to rise again.
With no part in the victory
I’m still invited to say,
“We won!”

By Gerhard Frost, sainted Lutheran pastor, from his

Just as Cardinal Nation is able to say,”We won the NL Wild Card..and looks forward to winning the world series…the whole community of saints is able to say, “We won the victory over death because Christ won over death on a cross and we look forward to the eternal victory parade, marching through streets paved with gold!"

In my quest for new information with Cardinals stats, I didn’t know what SB was. And you know, life has a lot of things I don’t understand. But Heb 12:2 helps me here. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Keeping my eyes on Jesus steadies me in the race and keeps me focused through the wins and losses of life until the final win which He has won for me and for those who believe and confess that He is Lord.

Now there’s a game plan you can count on!

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