by Dr. Michael Sprague
Published on September 19, 2023
Categories: Devotions


 A Chicago man told about the “most emotional day of his life.” It occurred at his little league baseball game when 60 of his relatives showed up. This is how he told it.

 I am the youngest on the team and the least skilled. I played right field, and even at my age, you know why you have been put in right field. I come up to bat three times and strike out each time, not even touching the ball. It’s the last inning, the bases are loaded, our team is down by one run and I’m up. Someone yells to the coach, “Pinch hit!” The coach tells me to get up there and take a swing.

 When I looked at the pitcher, I knew I had no shot. The pitcher stood 6 feet 9 inches and had a beard—at least that is how a 10-year-old looked to an 8-year-old. Everyone was standing and screaming. First pitch … Whoosh … I did not even see it … Strike one. Same on the second pitch … Strike two. I turned around and saw 200 people on the opponent’s side screaming for me to strike out and 200 on our side including my 60 relatives screaming I get a hit. I was shaking. The pitch came. I swung as hard as I could.

 I missed. Strike three. I let everyone down. I heard the other team chanting, “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Him!” (looking at me). My own teammates said to me, “Loser!” “Idiot!” “Moron!” I went to the dugout and cried with my cap over my face.

 Then I heard a voice from the pitcher’s mound, “Hey son, get back up. The game ain’t over.” I didn’t move. I heard it again, louder, “Son, get back up. The game ain’t over.” A third time I heard the same thing. I looked up and saw that none of my relatives had left. They were all in the field, waiting to play. Aunt Emma was in left field. Blind Uncle Joe in right field. They were all there with my dad on the mound saying, “Hey son. Get back up. The game ain’t over.”

 My bat was still lying at home plate. I walked over to the plate. My dad threw the pitch, and everyone cheered. I missed. He threw it again. I missed again. About fifteen pitches later… whack … I knocked it into left field. My dad said, “Run.” Okay, where is first base? I had never been there. I ran to first just to see Aunt Emma throw the ball into center field. I thought, “Cool, I’m going to get a double!” I ran to second and saw Todd throw the ball into right field. As I ran to third, I was sure they were screwing up on purpose. It was what I now call a conspiracy of GRACE to make sure I got home safe. I rounded third and sprinted home. When I got ten feet away, I dove for the plate feeling good for the first time in hours.

  My dad was down on one knee with tears in his eyes saying, “Son, you’re safe at home.” I threw myself into his arms and he whispered, “I told you the game wasn’t over.” My relatives all came around and carried me off the field on their shoulders cheering for me. It turned out to be one of the best days of my life.

 Isaiah 49:23 says, “I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.


Dr. Michael Sprague is the Louisiana State Chaplain with the Capitol Commission and President of Grace Adventures. Michael does life with his wonderful wife Donna and resides in Mandeville, LA. His motto is “Bet the Farm on God.” You can find more information about Michael here.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


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