Editor’s note: This article concludes the Baseball and Faith column from Msgr. Siefer, Luke Daghir and Ben Daghir. The authors hope that this series has not only helped to renew interest in America’s Pastime, but also through a deeper spiritual renewal.
Every ball player who has ever played baseball had one last round. This last round is the big equalizer in baseball or in other words what is usually experienced by every ball player. All good things must end.
For small leagues, their last round may have been when they were younger in the small field or older in the larger ball field, depending on when they experienced their last match. For high school players, their last round may have been in districts, states or Legion baseball. For college players, it may have been in the playoffs or last regular season game because the team did not qualify for baseball after the season. For Major League players, their last round may have been at home or away.
No matter who or what level the baseball player is, they will either have or have had one last round.
In life, every human being has one last day as a baseball player has one last round. GK Chesterton, a renowned British Catholic writer of the early 20th century, said “death is the great equalizer.” Kings, queens, the rich, the tyrants, the heroes, the famous, the poor, you and me – everyone has a last day.
These Baseball and Faith columns have tried to live up to the title “Baseball and Faith” by drawing connections. However, there is a very big difference between baseball and faith.
There is no resurrection in baseball.
When a player comes out of retirement, they simply come out of retirement; they did not return to life. Extra innings are the same game – the game did not end and suddenly came to life again.
In Christianity there is a resurrection. As the Catechism vigorously notes, “The resurrection of Jesus is the crowning achievement of our faith in Christ.” The crown of Christianity is that “yes, it is a last resort in our earthly life, but it is a resurrection that changes everything.”
The resurrection is what gave Saints Peter and John confidence and courage when they were called before the Sanhedrin before the leaders, elders, scribes, and high priest class at that time. Peter and John were taken into custody the day before to “teach the people and in Jesus proclaim the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 4: 2). After the congregation discussed what to do with Peter and John, the Sanhedrin ordered each of them to never speak or teach in Jesus’ name again.
Peter and John’s answers are simply astonishing. They said boldly: “It is impossible for us not to talk about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20) “In time, Peter would be crucified upside down, John would be banished, and the other apostles would be martyred in various ways and places.
Baseball has had a large hall of famers, but no martyrs. The faith has had thousands and thousands of martyrs, and it will continue to be martyrs.
The Resurrection only knocks baseball out of the ballpark.
Luke Daghir is a seminarian for the Diocese of Erie of St. Mary’s, Pa. He played catcher for Elk Catholic Crusaders in 2010-2011 and coached SM Little League for 4 years. Luke was a catcher for the 2009 St. Mary’s Senior League State Championship team. He is currently studying at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. His favorite team is the Pittsburgh Pirates and favorite baseball player is former catcher Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees.