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!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)