Team Devotion: Baseball Characters and Gratitude


This is a new feature that Travel Ball Parents will be doing for teams who want to do a devotion together on Sunday mornings at the ball field. We hope it’s a blessing for players, coaches and families.

A special thank you to Fellowship of Christian Athletes for this devotion and all the other resources they provide for coaches, athletes and families. 

In baseball history there have been a lot of characters, guys who were quirky in their behavior.
One of the most beloved characters in baseball history was Mark Fidrych, know as the Bird
because he looked like Sesame Street’s Big Bird. Fidrych pitched for the Detroit Tigers and in his
brief career made an impact on the city of Detroit and upon Major League Baseball. Fidrych
would stoop down on the mound and smooth out cleat marks with his hands. He would talk to
the baseball telling it where to go on each pitch. He walked around the mound after every out
and would throw out a baseball that was hit for a base hit, he didn’t like those at all. One of the
things that set the Bird apart was how he thanked his teammates. If they made a good play
behind him, he would run toward them clapping and thanking them. After the games he
pitched he would shake his teammates’ hands thanking them for all they did for him. Injury cut
short his career, but anyone who saw him pitch will never forget Mark “The Bird” Fidrych.

In today’s Scripture lesson Jesus has just healed 10 lepers. Leprosy was the worst disease of all
in the ancient world. Lepers could not live with other people, they were set out from society in
general. Lepers had no quality of life and were in constant pain. When Jesus had mercy on the
10 lepers and healed them, they had to go themselves to the local priest to show they were
diseased no more. This would enable them to return to a normal life. Only 1 out of  10 came
back to thank Jesus for what He had done in healing him. How many times has Jesus done
something for us and we didn’t thank Him?

When is the last time a teammate did something great in the game, did we thank him? Too many times we go through life without being grateful for our blessings? When is the last time you thanked your coach for all the time he puts into your team? We should all learn a lesson from Mark “The Bird “Fidrych and be grateful for all our blessings! The challenge today is to live with an attitude of gratitude. Why not thank God for His blessings, your parents for all they have done for you, and your teammates for all they have done for your team. “The Bird“ was grateful. How about you?


Angela Weight

Founder and publisher of Travel Ball, Angela Weight is still a little shocked to be running one of the most popular youth sports parenting sites on the web. Click the ABOUT US tab to read her story.

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