The Sacrifice Play (parts of this inspired by Brett Blairt)
Sacrifice is not a word we use much these days, is it? When was the last time you used it or thought about it in terms of your own life? When was the last time you sacrificed anything for anybody? Come to think about it, there’s only one sport as far as I know where the term is actually used. Do you know which sport that is? You can almost hear Harry Cary announcing it over the radio, “And there it goes, a long fly ball to left; easy out, but the man on third tags up and trots home. Sacrifice fly.”
What a great idea – “sacrifice”! You’re about to read some of the contrast between the hardness of football and the softness of baseball according to George Carlin. He says:
“Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game. Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.
“Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life. Football begins in the fall, when everything’s dying.
“Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park! Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.
“In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there’s kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there’s not too much unpleasantness. In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you’re capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.
“In football you Tackle! In baseball, you “catch flies…
“In football the object is for the quarterback to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line. In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! – I hope I’ll be safe at home!
“Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness. Baseball has the sacrifice.
Baseball may be the only sport where you actually can hear this word…
As I have been watching the Little League World Series I have pondered this monologue. Are we willing to sacrifice to make it safe to home? These 12 and 13 year old kids have shown such sportsmanship and friendship for one another. It has been a real inspiration to watch them all from all over the world. Everyone could learn something from watching them. Watch them making lifelong friends from different cultures, all with the same goal – to win. But they can be happy for each other when the other team wins.
We all want to win but in doing so many times others get stepped on who get in our way. Even as Christians we don’t always wish the best for others. How willing are we to make sacrifices for the good of others. Just like in baseball our goal should be to make it home and to help others meet the same goal. And the way to do that is to follow Jesus to the cross.
Play ball! and God Bless!