Friday, June 23, 2017

The Imperfect Man

We love a good baseball story in Houston right now as the Astros possess the best record in Major League Baseball! This is one of my favorite baseball stories, from October 8, 2013.

As I do every day, I looked early this morning for a random bonus question for our quiz in my classes which today covered Genesis 37. Often, it's along the lines of my niece Karis' middle name (Elizabeth) or who does my old Nebraska high school play this Friday night in football? (Columbus)This morning, I turned to one of those Today In History sights and found a topic I could use. On this day on 1956, the only perfect game in World Series history was pitched as Don Larsen of the New York Yankees hurled a masterpiece as the Bronx Bombers knocked off their despised cross town rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, by a 2-0 score. Larsen pitched fifteen years in the major leagues but I would dare say most baseball fans, even the most die hard, remember his career solely for that Game 5 gem on the afternoon of October 8, 1956.

One of the fascinating aspects of the professional life of Don Larsen, in which he pitched for seven different teams, is that he was what most would consider a journeyman, retiring with a losing record of 81-91. In 1954, pitching for the woeful Baltimore Orioles, Larsen led the league.......... in losses, posting a dismal 3-21 record. And yet, for one magic moment in time, he was untouchable and the picture of his celebratory hug with legendary Yankee catcher Yogi Berra after the 27th and final out remains one of the greatest and most recognizable baseball photos in history. And as Larsen himself once noted, his record can only be tied- it can never be broken.

From all I've read, Don Larsen, who still is alive at age 84, had a pretty good handle of who he was as a player and what happened fifty-seven years ago in Yankee Stadium from this quotation:
 "The imperfect man pitched the perfect game."
What a perfectly succinct summary of an event which has been the topic of countless discussions and articles and several books. Perfection remains elusive to us mortals, even on a small scale like a ball game. Paul tells us that it won't always be that way.In his treatise on love in 1 Corinthians 13, he reveals this prophecy in verse 10:
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. (RSV)
I don't know about you but I'm ready for a little perfection! I've had enough of the mistakes that I make hourly while trying to remain sinless even for one day. Some day! And so here's to the elderly Don Larsen tonight on the anniversary of his legendary feat. I wonder if he relived that long ago moment today. On this side of eternity, he was immortal for one afternoon.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it."
Salvador Dali

PS : Greatest post game question ever asked:
Associated Press reporter to Don Larsen in the Yankee club house after his perfect game:

"Is that the best game you ever pitched?" 

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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