Thursday, June 26, 2014

In the big inning, God created baseball

     Congratulations to Coach Tim Corbin and the Vanderbilt University baseball team for winning the 2014 College World Series out in Omaha. 
     I was fortunate enough to cover that event three times during my sportswriting career: 1975 with South Carolina and 1995 and 1996 with Clemson (where Corbin was an assistant coach). On one of those trips, the Omaha World Herald produced a special edition that included the following piece by George Sislernot the Hall of Fame first baseman but a war correspondent for the Memphis Commercial Appeal who became an preacher in the 1960s. 
     It's a game story cut and pasted from the King James Version of the Bible. It's quaint in its cliches, apocalyptic in its description of a double play, and prophetic in the reference to pitching around Aaron. (Hank Aaron, who recently turned 80, would have been a 16-year-old kid in Mobile when this was written in 1950.) This is old-school, old-testament baseballthere is no mention of a savior at the end. Of course, it was 1-1 in the ninth, so it wasn't a "save situation," either. 
     If you read closely, you'll find some irregularities. Israel got four outs in the first inning, including a two-out sacrifice. That can happen when you take scripture out of context. Philistines can go ask St. Peter for a review. On the other hand, this would not have been the first time Israel got an extra outsee Joshua 10:13
     I could not find this anywhere else on the Web, so I posted it here just for you: 

      The people gathered Ex 32:1 to see the battle, 1 Sam 17:28 and the people sat down to eat and drink Ex 32:6 sweet water James 3:11  and parched corn. Josh 5:11
     Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside, 1 Sam 4:13  and he stretched himself 1 Ki 17:21 that he may see good. Ps 34:12
       So the people shouted: Josh 6:20 Where are the nine? Luke 17:17 Let the young men now arise and play before us. 2 Sam 2:14.
     The first came out Gen 25:25 and went into the field Num 22:23 and they stood every man in his place. Judg 7:21
     And Peter called Mark 14:72 whether it be good or bad, Lev 27:12 as one mocketh another Job 13:9 with loud voices: Luke 23:23 His watchmen are blind. Isa 56:10 And he stooped to 1 Sam 24:8 make clean the platter. Luke 11:39

     And the trumpeters sounded: 2 Chr 29:28 Kohath shall pitch. Num 3:29 And Samson went and caught. Judg 15:4
     David was up 2 Sam 24:11 on the left side Ez 1:10 and he struck it into the pan 1 Sam 2:14 foul.  Matt 16:3 The second was offered. Judg 6:28 He striketh.. Job 34:26 On the third Gen 22:4 he struck 1 Sam 2:14 him out. Gen 22:11
     So the Levite went in. Judg 17:10 He stood, and measured the earth; he beheld and drove Hab 3:6 for an homer. Hos 3:2 And all the people shouted with a great shout. Josh 6:20
     And Noah went in Gen 7:7 and did fly 2 Sam 22:11 into the field. Num 22:23 And Jothan ran away Judg 9:21 and looking back Luke 9:62 gathered it. Isa 62:9.
     And Aaron went in Ex 5:1 and worketh it Isa 44:12 two and two. Gen 7:9 And Samson said: Judg 15:3 Strike it! Ex 12:7 And Aaron spake: Ex 4:30 Be not one of them that strike. Prov 22:26 And the man refused to smite. 1 Ki 20:35 And Aaron took NUM 16:47 and he walked. 1 KI 15:3
     Amon sacrificed 2 CHR 33:22 and Aaron ran Num 16:47 into the second Heb 9:7 and overran, 2 Sam 18:23 and with the bag Mic 6:11 afar off, Gen 22:4 a good man out. Matt 12:35.
     Now Jeremiah came in and went out Jer 37:4 being caused to fly. Dan 9:21 And the men of Israel retired. Judg 20:39

     Then the Philistines went up. Judg 15:9 And Joseph was captain Gen 39:1 of the Philistines. Judg 3:31 And Absalom pitched. 2 Sam 17:26
     Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks. Gen 42:25 Shimei came forth, 2 Sam 16:5 stood, and walked. Acts 3:8 The pitcher Ecc 12:6 looked this way and that way. Ex 2:12 He stretched out Hos 7:5 and threw. Acts 22:23 And Archers hit. 1 Sam 31:3 And it came to pass on the second, Luke 6:1 Joab caught 1 Ki 2:28 the line Job 38:5 and threw 2 Sam 16:13 at the first. Gen 13:4 Therefore, David ran and stood upon 1 Sam 17:51 the first, Gen 13:4 put forth his hand and caught Ex 4:4 the toss. Jer 5:22  This is the second death. Rev 20:14
     Then Joseph could not restrain himself, and he cried: Gen 45:1 Goodness, if thou continue in Rom 11:22 going down, Gen 15:12, our bones are dried, and our hope is lost Ez 37:11 and my garments Isa 63:3 and job. Ex 14:20.
     And Abram went up. Gen 13:1 And Abram drove Gen 15:11 into the air. Acts 22:23 Judah came in Gen 38:8 under it. Dan 4:14 And through the idleness of hands Ecc 10:18 the fly Is 7:18 droppeth through, Ecc 10:18 giving him a double. Deut 21:17
     Abraham took the wood and Gen 22:6 caught hold of 2 Sam 18:9 an hard Matt 25:24 and high Rev 21:12  delivery Is 26:17 and smote it Judg 7:13  that thou mayest go home. Judg 19:9

     Thus and thus Judg 18:4 Israel fought Josh 10:42 and the Philistines fought 1 Sam 4:10 until the ninth. Lev 25:22 For each, one Num 7:3 in the first, Gen 8:13 and seven times Lev 25:8 after that they Ecc 9:3 gathereth eggs. Is 10:14

     In the ninth Lev 23:32 Israel went out 1 Ki 20:21 in a row, 1 Ki 7:3 and none came in. Josh 6:1 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, Ps 78:45 and they caught every one. 2 Sam 2:16
     The first man 1 Cor 15:45 for the Philistines 1 Sam 28:15 drew the third, Rev 12:4 and the fourth Ex 28:20 came unto the outside. Judg 7:19 He walketh. Job 22:14 The pitcher Ecc 12:6 climbed up 1 Sam 14:13 and pitched. Gen 12:8 And Moses put it upon a pole Num 21:9 for an homer. Hos 3:2
     And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel. 2 Sam 2:17
     And behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, Ez 9:11 and wrote it in a book. 1 Sam 10:25

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