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Original Issue


Big league baseball and professional football stars at youth rally in Denver speak of spiritual life in terms of the games they know best

I have a God-given opportunity to point out to young people the guide posts to a better way. I have this God-given opportunity to make up for my own mistakes, wrong turns and wasted years. If I can make contact with one kid and save him from my mistakes, save him from making that wrong turn, save him even one wasted moment, I will be proud of my association with this fellowship.... It feels good to be on a team where everyone is a star....

I have found that growing spiritually is much the same as growing physically or mentally. When we start spring training in Florida I must discipline myself to do certain physical tasks—so much running, throwing, sleeping, eating, etc. Similarly I have found I must discipline myself if I expect to grow and mature in the realm of the spiritual. The church is the training camp of the Christian, and the clergyman is the manager who directs us in our work and play....

If you have ever gone out on a playing field and had 30,000 people boo you, you know what I mean when I say that is when I draw on my religion. That's also when I sometimes lose it for a moment.... I don't pray to win. I don't believe in that. I pray to do my best.... I pray to be more in God's character, to be more like He would like me to be. It helps me. It will help you. Try it.

In the long history of organized baseball I stand unparalleled for putting Christianity into practice.... Last season I gave up an alltime major league record of 41 home runs. No one has ever been so good to opposing batsmen. And to prove I was not prejudiced, I served up home run balls to Negroes, Italians, Jews, Catholics alike. Race, creed, nationality made no difference to me....

The newspapers stress the scandals and rough play in athletics. We of FCA are here to show the other side of sports. In professional baseball the strain and stress of daily competition on the athletic field is unusually great. I look to Christ to help carry that extra load. I get money for endorsing razor blades; what I get for endorsing the Lord is a lot more meaningful.