Bill Buckner

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:11 AM

I was having a baseball conversation with a fellow fan the other day when he started telling me about a team making a bunch of mistakes on easy plays. He made this statement, “They were missing ground balls just like Bill Buckner.” Why this bugged me I have no idea but it did.

The name Bill Buckner means little to you unless two things, you are a big baseball fan and or a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Since numbers mean everything to baseball fans let me give you some on our friend. He played for over 20 years which is a long time; he had 2715 hits overall and just for a point of reference 3000 gets you in the Hall of Fame. One year he won the batting title (the best hitter) and he played in 2715 games, which again says he was good enough to be around a while.

All of that means nothing until you come to October 25th 1986. Bill Buckner was playing first base for the Boston Red Sox and they were ahead in games 6 of the World Series and all they needed was one out to win the first World Series in a forever ago. With the game tied and a runner on second base Mookie Wilson hits a grounder to first base where Bill Buckner was playing. Instead of fielding it and ending the inning as he had hundreds of times before. The balls went right between his legs into right field and the runner scores from second base thus ending Boston’s chances that night to win the World Series. For Red Sox fans it was a hard pill to swallow.

For Red Sox fans it was a hard pill to swallow, for Buckner it defined an otherwise fine career. 21 years later when people think of Bill Buckner, they do not think of the great career he had, they bring up October 25th 1986. Too bad and it brings me to my point or really points of the day. In honor of Bill who now lives in Idaho, let’s call it lessons to learn from a slow roller:

  1. One is that it only takes one bad choice to ruin an otherwise solid life of good choices in the eyes of others. How many of us know the truth of that statement. Be very careful to stay in a good relationship with God, keep good company, and be busy about serving others. If a choice seems questionable, take it to good Godly people for review.
  2. On the other hand one bad choice though it may change your life does not end your life. Buckner did not simply walk off the field and never play again; he played for four more years. One bad choice no matter how bad does not end your life. God still loves you, He seeks to forgive you and for us to learn from our mistakes and more than anything to find grace from him for our sins. He is a redeeming God.
  3. Don’t put yourself in bad situations. Buckner had two bad ankles and really had no business out there that cold Boston evening. Who knows why the coach had him out there. Likewise do not put yourself in situations you are not spiritually able to handle. Who knows why we put ourselves in bad situations but when we do it almost always leads to failure.
  4. That faithful night in Boston the entire team failed. When that last inning started the Red Sox were ahead by 2 runs. It should have never come down to that slow roller toward Buckner. The game should have been over long before that, it was not. Why? Because others failed around him. This note is for everyone, we need to make sure we understand that our bad choices affect others. Especially as parents we need to remember that when we make bad choices it puts out children in a position to fail not succeed. No parent wants that. Just as it takes a team to win it takes a team to fail. We need to make sure as a family of God we are in the right place taking care of business the right way.

** One last side note on that, teams fail, church’s do the wrong thing, Christians do not always make the right choices. Don’t make it worse by continuing to make the wrong choice, seek forgiveness from those that were hurt. This will help build a stronger team. (church)

Life hits us slow rollers every day. Nine times out of ten we have no issues, we make the play. But when we don’t God is still there, loving us and teaching us. There will be other grounders we just need to make sure the next one doesn’t get by.

Scripture: Ephesians: 2:6-7, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for your forgiveness when our choices are wrong, when they lead to sin. We are thankful for your grace. Help us to do the things that lead to proper decisions and a righteous life. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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