Bottom of the 9th - 100th Edition
Bottom of the Ninth's 100th Edition
by Tom Walters
"He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.'" - Mark 16:15
It's hard to believe this all started out of sharing a few crazy cowboy stories with Coach Wahl a couple of years ago. You see, my friend Kevin Weatherby is the preacher at Save the Cowboy Church in Kiowa, CO. Kevin's a great storyteller and ties real life experiences (horse wrecks and wild cow tales) to scripture in a way that makes good (biblical) horse sense. Coach Wahl enjoyed Kevin's stories enough to suggest that we do something like Cowboy Campfire Ministries was doing, but do it in the language of baseball for the baseball community. Hence, Bottom of the 9th was born.We threw our "first pitch" back on January 25th, 2013. In celebration of our 100th edition, we asked some of our readers and authors, family and friends to offer their thoughts on what Bottom of the 9th has meant to them. We've included references to past articles, all of which are posted at
"When Bottom of the 9th started 100 weeks and a little over 2 years ago, I thought it was a clever idea that would last a few weeks or months. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself watching each Friday for every new installment.Of course as a retired English teacher, I was always impressed with how well written each issue was and as a Christian mother and grandmother pleased with the solid content. My favorites are the ones written about my husband, Coach Walters' dad (Issue 19) and Levi Walters' about his mom (Issue 46) . No prejudice there! All show strong Bible based values and leadership merit."
- Kay Walters, Valor Baseball Nana
"I have been a faithful reader of the Bottom of the 9th since its first issue. Reading them has become a 12:00 noon on Friday ritual since day one of the ministry. I firmly believe, alongside the creators and writers of the Bottom of the 9th, that baseball is uniquely suited to speak of God's Grace and POWER. Baseball is a game where failure is the norm and if we were honest with ourselves and others, we would freely admit that all of our lives are riddled with failure each and every day we rise from our beds. Life is tough, as is baseball. The only way to get through it is to look to our heavenly Father for answers. The "Bottom of the 9th" has become one way that I reconnect with Him.There have been so many Bottom of the 9th issues that deeply moved me. Every piece that Meredith Weide wrote was magnificently written (Issues 1, 5, 11, 14, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, 36, 39, 50, 61, 65, 69, 79, 84a, and 89). The piece that Greg Popylisen wrote entitled "Me, Mom & God" (Issue 3) is one I think of often, and this year's FORGING THE BROTHERHOOD series (Issues 89-99) by Coach Wahl have proved to be a great resource for me as I look for ways to connect the boys on the 13U team that I coach with each other and with Jesus."
- Wade Donels, Valor Baseball Dad
"Bottom of the 9th has been a great weekly source of personal reflection as each post has given me the opportunity to better understand myself as I continue to grow in my relationship with God. Every post provides a real life look at walking with God and will continue to be a staple of my weekly reading; serving as a valuable spiritual connection to the game I love. Thanks to all those who have contributed to make Bottom of the 9th the great resource it has become!"- Evan Troka, Valor Baseball Alumnus 2012
"Great word today. Always look forward to noon on Friday to see what Bottom of the Ninth has for me each week."- Coach Bill Bufton, Valor Basketball Coach and College Recruiting Coordinator
"Congratulations on the 100th issue of "Bottom of the 9th"! I'd like to express my appreciation for the time, effort and dedication that the Valor "Team" has put into the articles that guide players, coaches, parents and alumni. "Bottom of the 9th" addresses the challenges of baseball as the game imitates life with exceptional stories based on the real life experience of the writers. I see "Bottom of the 9th" as a Life Blog, that like a map and compass in the hands those who read it, promotes situational awareness and learning. Confirming their experience with Biblical guidance, the writers remind us of our priorities and better yet, what is important in life. Thank you for all of the fantastic issues, with a wish for many more!"- Dan Popylisen, Valor Baseball Alumnus Greg Popylisen's (2013) Dad
"The hits and the misses of a baseball season fade far into the background when compared to the friendships made in and around a baseball diamond. Some of the finest people I know, I have met watching baseball. Some of the finest young men I know, I have watched playing baseball. Bottom of the 9th has given me a glimpse into the sacred faith journeys of these people I hold close, and I cannot help but be blessed. Happy 100th, Bottom of the 9th!"- Meredith Weide, Valor Baseball Alumnus Mitch Weide's (2014) Mom, Bottom of the 9th Founding Member
"Bottom of the 9th has been a total blessing to the baseball community and to me personally! I love getting this encouragement each week, it is always so uplifting and relevant. Thank you all for your commitment to the spiritual growth and unity of our families! Love you guys, truly, thank you for this!"
- Jamie Heiner, CSCS, Valor Director of Performance, Athletic Department Chaplain
â€œBottom of the Ninthâ€ has been a blessing to me and to others I share it with. As a Believer in Christ and as a Coach, it is refreshing to read the various stories shared week-to-week by Bottom of the Ninth. From Challenges to Triumphs and from Adversity to Victory, I enjoy reading how others are doing The Lordâ€™s work through athletics. I anticipate receiving Bottom of the Ninth each week with great expectation to not only read the sports-related stories, but to hear from The Lord to see if the story parallels with my life or someone I know. We must give Godâ€™s Word first place in our lives, in every thought, every decision and every action. Reading Bottom of the Ninth gives each reader an opportunity to grow even more in Godâ€™s Word together so we can each fulfill His call â€“ both in our own lives and collectively as the Body of Christ.
My favorite â€œBottom of the Ninthâ€ is Edition number #79, â€œSupernatural verses Superstitionâ€ from October 2014. I am thankful & praising The Lord for the work the contributors are doing through â€œBottom of the Ninth."
- Dennis M. Burrage Sr., Valor Boys Basketball Coach
Thanks to all of our authors and readers. Here's to the next 100!God Bless you, Tom Walters Keith Wahl Meredith Weide
Baseball Chapel will be changing formats now that we enter the spring baseball season. Be on the lookout for the release of the new format soon!
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