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Summary: 1- We’re on a team, so be a team player. 2- We have a coach, so listen to him. 3- We may get hurt, so what? Play anyway.

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INTRO.- Everyone should have a goal in life. Goals give motivation to our lives whether it’s the game of baseball or the Christian life.

ILL.- A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat: "I’m the greatest hitter in the world," he announced.

Then, he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike One!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!"

He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. "Strike Two!" he cried.

The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!"

Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. "Strike Three!" "Wow!" he exclaimed. "I’m the greatest pitcher in the world.

I am sure there have been plenty of little boys who at one time dreamed of becoming a great hitter or pitcher in the world of baseball. Why not? It’s been said that life is made of dreams.

If you don’t have any dreams or goals in life, you may not get very far. You may not climb the ladder of success, whether it’s secular or sacred, spiritual or otherwise. This is why Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Everyone needs some of that “pressing on” spirit in their lives.

And we must admit that American life is certainly about baseball. I don’t know if it is still considered our national pastime but it was in days gone by.

ILL.- Song Take me out to the ballgame.

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks,

I don’t care if I never get back,

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don’t win it’s a shame.

For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,

At the old ball game.

ILL.- "There are three types of base players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens." Tommy Lasorda And I would say that’s true of most things in life.

ILL.- "Most ballgames are lost, not won." Casey Stengel How lost? By lack of genuine effort. Many things in life are lost just because we don’t do anything about them. Doing nothing will accomplish nothing.

ILL.- Take a guess at "The Greatest Baseball Nicknames Of All Time.”

Hank Aaron - " Hammerin’ Henry "

Ty Cobb - " The Georgia Peach "

Jay Hannah Dean - " Dizzy Dean "

Joe DiMaggio - " Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio "

Lou Gehrig - " The Iron Horse "

Bob Gibson - " Hoot "

Ken Griffey Jr. - " The Kid "

Jim Hunter - " Catfish Hunter "

Joe Jackson - "Shoeless Joe Jackson "

Reggie Jackson - " Mr. October "

Harmon Killebrew - " Killer "

Mickey Mantle - " The Mick "

Mark McGwire - " Big Mac "

Stan Musial - Stan " The Man " Musial

George Herman Ruth - " Babe Ruth "," The Sultan of Swat "

Ozzie Smith - " The Wizzard "

Ted Williams - " The Splendid Splinter "

Life is a learning process and believe it or not, we can learn some things from the game of baseball.


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