Summary: Many Christians struggle with the idea that they aren’t talented, or aren’t capable of serving the Lord through ministry. Here I try to show that every does have a place and a way to serve in the kingdom of God.
A Ministry for All
Sunday June 10, 2007 AM
Rudy Meoli was an average baseball player at best. With a measly career batting average of just over .200, Rudy was definitely not known for his ability at the plate, and with 27 fielding errors during the 1973 season, he certainly was not someone you would refer to as a “model shortstop”. There are many reasons why you have never heard of Rudy Meoli, but there’s just one reason I mention him. Despite of all of his errors and his evident lack of performance on the diamond, Rudy played a major role in baseball history.
Our story shifts to May 15th, 1973. Rudy was playing his best, but just wasn’t playing well that season. Rudy and his teammates were facing a team that would go on that season to finish second in their division…no simple task itself. Facing a good team would mean that Rudy would really have to be on top of his game to not let his team down.
Rudy had played an ok game so far, but the eighth inning would prove to be Rudy’s finest hour. His team was up 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Rudy and his teammates took the field. Their fairly young pitcher had pitched an outstanding game thus far, and in fact a no-hitter was in the works. The home team called in a veteran pinch hitter by the name of Gail Hopkins to face the young pitcher and that inning. Gail was a seasoned veteran and was in his next to last year when he faced this tough pitcher, so he was certainly qualified for the encounter. The pitcher wound up and threw his pitch toward home plate when Hopkins swings hitting a looping liner into shallow left field. Rudy Meoli turned his back toward home plate as he ran after the ball, and in that split second Rudy Meoli helped create baseball history. You see Rudy managed to pull off a tremendous over the shoulder catch to keep Hopkins from reaching base. What Meoli managed to do that day was what he was supposed to do everyday…make the play, get the out, and go on with the game…but the story doesn’t stop there.
That was as close as the Kansas City Royals came that day to having a hit against the California Angels and their young pitcher, Nolan Ryan. You see Rudy Meoli’s over the shoulder catch in the 8th inning that day sealed Nolan Ryan’s very first Major League No-hitter. Ryan went on to play an outstanding career which included 6 more no-hitters along the way bringing the total to 7, a baseball record that nobody has yet to challenge, 5714 strikeouts, again nobody has come close to that either, and at the time had played the longest of anyone in baseball, appearing in uniform for 27 major league seasons, another record that still stands today.
And if it hadn’t been for Rudy Meoli would Nolan Ryan have ended with the successful career he did?
· Often times in life we find ourselves in situations where we affect peoples lives drastically. We may not know it at the time, and we may never know how our actions have affected others. Sometimes those life-changing events occur because ordinary people did ordinary things. People simply using the talents that God has given them, no matter how extraordinary or ordinary they may be. As Christians, we are all called to help spread the gospel of Christ.