Even a few weeks ago, nobody gave the Rangers much chance of advancing in the postseason, much less winning the World Series.
But the Rangers overcame all obstacles, including a gut punch at home that could have crushed their spirits. Instead, the resilient team led by manager Bruce Bochy refused to let one loss define it. Texas finished an incredible 11-0 on the road in the playoffs.
My team made it — at long, long last — to baseball heaven.
The lesson for followers of Jesus is simple: Don’t give up during the difficult times.
Keep pressing forward toward the goal (Philippians 3:13-14).
My sons Brady and Keaton and I witnessed Game 1 of the World Series from the third deck at Globe Life Field in Arlington. With the Rangers down 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the prospect for victory seemed gloomy.
But then All-Star shortstop Corey Seager stepped to the plate with a runner on first base. Seager swung at Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald’s first pitch and smashed it 418 feet into the crowd in right field to tie the game.
In the bottom of the 11th, Rangers slugger Adolis García hit a laser over the wall in right to give Texas the win, 6-5.
Pandemonium ensued as Texas fans whooped and hollered with delight.
The Rangers lost the next day at home before winning three straight in Phoenix to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history.
Brady, the oldest of my three children, attended his first Rangers game while still in diapers.
At age 13, he shared wisdom beyond his years for a column I wrote in 2006.
“Baseball seasons are long, like a faith journey can be,” my son told me then. “Baseball players get injured, just as Christians get hurt by the world. You have to keep going if you want to be the best.”
At age 18, Brady — like all Rangers fans — experienced the heartbreaking disappointment of the Game 6 collapse in the 2011 World Series.
He’s now 30.
Our entire family connected via FaceTime to watch the final out Wednesday night. My apologies to all the neighbors who heard screaming right at 10 p.m.
“I don’t remember life before becoming a Rangers fan,” Brady wrote on Twitter. “At times, I thought we’d never win a playoff series (let alone a World Series). Now here we are. Unbelievable.”
The Rangers just won the World Series.
And — I count this as a tremendous blessing — I lived to see it.
This piece is republished from The Christian Chronicle.