By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s immortal words gave birth to the hymn our forbears sang on July 4, 1837, at the completion of the battle monument in Concord. I have stood at the Old Concord Bridge and mentally replayed that epochal moment. All who have done so can almost hear the initial blast of gunpowder and see the the burst of fire explode from the farmer’s musket.
Little did the unnamed hero realize the far reaching impact his shot would make when he squeezed the trigger. Nothing would ever be the same. What was to him merely his duty as a patriot has become the point on which our country’s history pivots. His was indeed “the shot heard round the world.”
Comeback is the true account of another history making event … not brought about by guns and soldiers, but quietly modeled in the life of a man whose name is now well known because of his courageous faith. Dave Dravecky’s story is not just another athlete’s story, because Dave is not just another athlete. His major struggles have not been limited to locker rooms and pitcher’s mounds.
And though he has known the thrill of playing a vital role on a championship major league baseball team, his greatest victories have not been won in public ballparks. His most significant conquests have come deep within his own life as he refused to surrender to the same enemies that plague us all: fear and disappointment, pain and death.
A curious swelling no larger than a quarter on Dave’s pitching arm was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. Yet his determination mixed with optimism following the surgery and therapy got him back into the game. The whole sports world watched in amazement as the all-star hurler returned to the mound, confident and sure as ever. Many called it a miracle as he was reunited with his team, the San Francisco Giants.
In early August of ’89, amid repeated, thunderous applause, he earned a decisive win against the Cincinnati Reds. As he lifted his cap for a final bow following that incredible achievement, he received his twelfth standing ovation of the day. Everybody who was anybody in the world of news had his name on their lips. Dave Dravecky was suddenly a synonym for comeback.
His next game was in Montreal. Excitement was at an all-time high. Throwing with a strange tingling sensation in his arm, Dave pitched well enough through five innings to be ahead 3-0, a nice cushion to enjoy. In the bottom of the sixth, he faced a tough batter at the plate, Tim Raines. Dave took his wet, stared at first base to restrain a runner, pivoted, and, kicking high, he pushed off the rubber and let fly. He didn’t realize that it would be the last pitch of his life.
A dull, sickening crack could be heard across the unusually quiet stadium. The humerus bone in his pitching arm literally snapped as he delivered with full force. In Dave’s own words, “My arm felt like I’d been hit with a meat axe.” He grabbed his arm to keep it from flying toward home plate as he screamed, tumbling headfirst to the ground.
It was enough to devastate the strongest of the strong. Not Dave Dravecky. Remarkable though it may seem today, his thoughts were not full of bitterness or self-pity. Rather, he found himself overflowing with gratitude, confident that God was writing another chapter in his life. Something more, something amazing was about to be revealed. At the time he had no idea what it was. Little did he realize, as he writhed in pain upon the ground, that he had delivered “the pitch heard round the world.”
Now he does. And that’s why Comeback has been written.
- Chuck Swindoll, Pastor
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Sports
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)