Day 30: 30 baseball books in 30 days of April, ’09: Let’s keep this thing going

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The book: “Parables From The Diamond: Meditations for Men on Baseball & Life”

The authors: Phil Christopher and Glenn Dromgoole

How to find it: Bright Day Press, 108 pages, $9.95.

Where we’d go looking for it: Amazon has it (linked here).

The scoop: A search of book titles will turn up some that offer “Parables From” pop culture, nature, the “back side” … even the fishin’ hole series is pretty popular.

“Parables From The Diamond” is something you could read in one 20-minute sitting. But don’t. You won’t get the most out of it that way.

There are 50 short essays about something that happens in baseball, and how it parallels something in life. Maybe it’s best just to read one each day, think about it, learn from it, and move on to the next.

Some of these things may seem obvious, but they’re nothing you’ve really contemplated past a few minutes of pondering. Others are obvious, and they’ve never really occured to you.

The combination of Dromgoole (a journalist for more than 30 years) and Christopher (a Baptist minister and paster), both in Abilene, Texas, give each passage some great brevity and soul that get to the heart of the message quickly and effectively.

If there’s one book to end this series on — knowing that it will, in fact, stretch the series over another month — we pick this one.

One quick passage: From “A Broken Bat Still Has Value”

Kids today play with aluminum bats, but when we were kids the bats we used were wooden. Invariably, if used long enough, bats would break.

Instead of throwing them away, however, we would put them back together, glue the pieces back, maybe drive a nail to hold the pieces together, wrap them with duct tape and go on using the bat.

The bat may not have been as good as new, but it still had value to us. It could be used. It still had a purpose.

Sometimes, in fact, we pick up a broken bat someone else had discarded and took it home and carefully put the pieces back in place and were proud to have it as our own.

At times, our lives may feel like a broken bat. A marriage has spintered. The death of a spouse or a child or a parent has split our hearts in two. The loss of a job has made us feel worthless. A dream has been shattered.

Yet, like the bat, our lives can be put back together a piece at a time. We may be a bit fragile at first, but we still have value, we still have a purpose and a future. There is a lot of life left in us. We’re not ready for the trash heap.

Do you have a broken bat that still has some life left in it? How can you help someone else pick up the pieces and start again?

How it goes down in the scorebook: A keeper.

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