A Love of the Game

You all know how much I love baseball. We’ve been doing true, inspiring sports stories in Guideposts since we started publishing in 1945.

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It’s already past the Fourth of July and I haven’t blogged yet about the baseball season. So what am I waiting for?

You all know how much I love baseball. And besides, we’re at the All-Star break, that glorious meridian of our summers.  

A couple of years ago, when the old Yankee Stadium hosted its last MLB All-Star Game, I blogged with pride about how many players, former players, coaches and broadcasters on the field that night had shared their true personal stories in Guideposts. It was really incredible. Coupled with the final tribute to the Ballpark in the Bronx, which was just a few miles north from the couch I was slouched on watching the game, it all sent chills down my spine...even a tear to my sometimes jaundiced sports eye.

We’ve been doing true, inspiring sports stories in Guideposts since we started publishing in 1945. Dr. Peale loved athletic competition—especially a baseball game on a sultry summer’s afternoon. He knew his readers were predominantly women, yet he wanted to reach men too. He believed if he put sports figures in the magazine, the husbands would be more likely to pick it up. And he was right, of course. From great Olympians to middle-school soccer coaches, we’ve covered all the bases.

Today things are different. Sports fandom is no longer the pure province of men. I know as many female sports fanatics as male. My mother followed virtually every sport passionately and my sister, Mary Lou, is the same way (my poor doomed brother Joe has had season tickets to the Detroit Lions for nearly four hopeless decades, though).

So far this year I only count two players, Yankees catcher Russell Martin and the American League’s reigning MVP, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, along with broadcaster Joe Buck, as All-Star participants who have appeared in our pages or on our site. But I may be counting wrong so let know if I’m missing someone, please.

Josh Hamilton was an interesting case. He burst on the scene that year with his inspiring comeback from the living hell of drug and alcohol addiction to amaze everyone with his spectacular prowess in the home run derby competition the night before the All-Star Game. He had an amazing story of faith and determination that I knew would connect perfectly with Guideposts readers. It would be an editorial home run for sure, right on the spiritual sweet spot, as it were.

The only problem was he had not responded to our entreaties to appear in the magazine. So I called him out in my blog. I said, Josh, the Guideposts readers want to hear from you. They want to know how you were saved. And lo and behold, a year later he was on the cover.

So here’s my request to all of you: Tell me about a player in Tuesday’s game whose inspiring personal story we ought to feature in Guideposts. I know there must be a few. And please say a prayer that I even get to see the game this year. I’ll be flying back from Atlanta that evening following a couple of book signing appearances at the International Christian Retail Show (stop by the Guideposts/Ideals booth if you’re an attendee—I’d love to give you a copy of my book, The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours; read it and find out why I had such a strong feeling about Josh Hamilton).

I scheduled my flight so I’d be back in New York in time to watch the game from the aforementioned couch but, hey, you know how air travel is these days, especially out of Hotlanta. I need those prayers! Post your player suggestions below. Enjoy the game!

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