Bottom of the 9th - Angels in the Outfield
Angels in the Outfield
by Brian Bonn, Head Baseball Coach, Valor Christian High School
Do you remember the movie Angels in the Outfield? If you don't here is a quick teaser of the movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMrKpGjgp_8
Every spring baseball season, I think about my grandmother going to heaven. I will never forget the weekend when I found out the Lord had brought her to a better place.
Grandma had dementia and by the time her body had fully broken down, she could barely remember our names. On her good days, my mom would tell me that the only question she would ask was, "When can I go to Brian's baseball games?" Grandma always came to my games! She would sit in her chair with her blanket wrapped around her and she would cheer me on. After the game, she would tell me what a great player I was, regardless to the results on the field. She had two sons (my uncles) and my mom. Both of her boys were incredible athletes. Uncle Joe had the opportunity to play for the Boston Red Sox, but decided to start a family instead. Uncle Joe passed away before Grandma, I remember before Uncle Joe passed, he told me something I will never forget, "You're gonna be something special - it's in your eyes, I can tell."
The day my grandmother passed, my Uncle Gus had put his arm around me and told me that she was going to visit Uncle Joe and that one day we would all be together again. He kept saying we have to keep our faith. It took me a while to wrap my head around going to heaven but I knew that they would be looking down from heaven watching every game.
In high school, I wanted to honor my grandmother by playing a game in her memory. Playing baseball at Highlands Ranch High School, I had the opportunity to play at Coors Field my senior year. I'd decided that this would be the game that I would honor her. We played ThunderRidge that day. I was nervous, I was playing for someone that played a crucial role in my life and I wanted to be perfect.
That day quickly turned into my worst game of the year, or so I thought. I went 0-4 at the plate and I had one of only two strikeouts I had for the entire season. I was so uptight trying to impress Grandma and Uncle Joe, that I had forgotten to keep my faith. Praying to God was the only thing that was left to do. Here was my prayer, "Father, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be on this field. I'm trying to impress my uncle and grandmother right now and I was told that they are in heaven with you right now. God, if you can show me a sign and just let me know they are watching, I will be forever grateful."
In the sixth inning, I made my final at bat. With one out and the bases loaded, Coach asked me to put a ball in the air and score a runner. Here is the at bat: http://youtu.be/t4oPn5g0txI
It was a true blessing. I was not a home-run hitter. I was the first high school player to hit a grand slam out of Coors Field. I truly believe that my Uncle and Grandmother were on the field that day. They were watching and loving me every step of the way. But for that at bat, I felt their presence. They were cheering and encouraging me from the gates of heaven. I don't know if they helped me hit a home run or not, but here is what I do know: There is a heaven and they are there waiting my arrival. Scripture says this,
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." - John 5:24
There really are angels in the outfield! Grandma and Uncle Joe are my angels in the outfield and I believe in an eternal life where I can meet with them again.