Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–
38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.
Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.
“I’m speechless. Thanks for having me in your club,” Thomas said, getting emotional as he remembered his late father. “Frank Sr., I know you’re watching. Without you, I know 100 per cent I wouldn’t be here in Cooperstown today. You always preached to me, ‘You can be someone special if you really work at it.’ I took that to heart, Pop.”
Ever the diplomat as a manager, Torre somehow managed to assuage the most demanding of owners in George Steinbrenner, maintaining his coolness amid all the Bronx craziness while keeping all those egos in check after taking over in 1996. The result: 10 division titles, six AL pennants and four World Series triumphs in 12 years as he helped restore the luster to baseball’s most successful franchise and resurrected his own career after three firings.
“Baseball is a game of life. It’s not perfect, but it feels like it is,” said the 74-year-old Torre, who apologized afterward for forgetting to include the Steinbrenner family in his speech. “That’s the magic of it. We are responsible for giving it the respect it deserves. Our sport is part of the American soul, and it’s ours to borrow — just for a while.”
“If all of us who love baseball and are doing our jobs, then those who get the game from us will be as proud to be a part of it as we were. And we are. This game is a gift, and I am humbled, very humbled, to accept its greatest honor.”
It is a wonderful feeling to be honored for your life’s work, or in this case play since baseball is after all a game. Nonetheless baseball is as American as apple pie so the saying goes. Joe Torre in his acceptance speech expressed a deep appreciation for the game and humbly accepted the honor of being included among the elites of the game.
Being accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is an honor reserved for very few of the many who have played the game before. Those who are honored in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown have shown and above average talent for the game. They have demonstrated spectacular performance on the ball field and from this day forward shall be enshrined forever among the greats of the game.
As Joe Torre expressed in his remarks it gave him a sense of pride to pass on the game to the next generation and give them encouragement and a love of the game. He took his honor to heart.
Being an example for others, and offering encouragement for those who come to the game after us is certainly something that should be remembered and having a Hall of Fame to honor these great men is certainly right.
In our Christian walk we too have a record of the Hall of Famer’s found in Hebrews chapter 11. These are those who although they had obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, because God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. The list is long of all those who are listed in God’s great Hall of Fame including David, Moses, Samson, Elijah, Joshua, Rahab, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau. And let us not forget Joseph, Noah and Abel. The list is too long to include everyone here but you can visit God’s Hall of Fame found in the pages of scripture.
In order to walk among baseball’s finest you must take a trip to Cooperstown and visit the Hall of Fame, but to walk among the biblical elite on God’s Wall of fame you simply have to turn to scripture.
Like Joe Torre emoted, these men, who have played the game already, have left a legacy for others to follow. They have set an example of what can be accomplished when you are fully dedicated to the game of baseball. So too have the heroes of our faith set forth an example for others to follow. Let us follow their examples and get in the game, perhaps we too will one day find ourselves in the hall of fame.
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,