It's No Coincidence That Opening Day Is The Day After Valentine's Day: Love And Baseball

BY JOHN MACON GILLESPIE



“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.”

– Yogi Berra


Love is a game of chance and sometimes a game of pain.


For many, yesterday symbolized taking that chance. People sent gifts to their significant others or those whom they wish to woo, but all of it boiled down to one thing: taking a chance.


There’s always a chance of rejection or that your feelings won’t be reciprocated by your person of interest, and that knowledge is hard to overcome. Still, we find ourselves taking those chances and “shooting our shot” because we believe that finding love and compassion from another is important.


Sure, we can prepare. We can rehearse in our heads what to say, what to wear, what to send, but ultimately, we have to step out and run the risk of being rejected in order to find what we’re looking for.


Love is a game of chance, and the risk is high, but the reward is great.


It shouldn’t be overlooked that immediately following Valentine’s Day is opening day of the

college baseball season. Tonight, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and other four-year schools in our state will take to the diamond in hopes of reaching the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, in June. For these athletes, baseball is a year-round game, one that requires training and physical conditioning to be ready for first pitch tonight.


Still, the players will not always succeed. In baseball, a .300 batting average is considered to be successful. That’s only getting a hit in 30 percent of your plate appearances. The other 70 percent of the appearances result in an out.


Failure comes with baseball. You strikeout; you groundout; you flyout. You experience slumps. You commit errors. You crush the ball only to have it die at the warning track. That’s part of the game, but you still play. You still take that chance.


Love and baseball, as highlighted by Yogi Berra, can be important aspects of life and can teach us many life lessons. In Matthew Chapter 14, Peter takes a chance of his own when he steps out of the boat and walks on water towards Christ. At first, while he keeps his eyes on Jesus, Peter is successful and stays on top of the waves. Once he started paying attention to the wind and storm around him, however, he began to sink.


While Peter’s lesson is not one of Valentine’s cards or a game on a diamond, it carries the same principle: taking a chance on faith. Sometimes things get hectic or we’re called to take a chance in life that we may not be entirely comfortable with. What if we fail? What if this change we face isn’t good?


We as Christians are called to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own

understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NKJV). If we find ourselves in a situation beyond our control or

have felt God’s call to step out of our comfort zone, we need not fear, for God has promised to take care of us.


The Apostle Paul echoes this sentiment in Romans Chapter 8. “And we know that all things

work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his

purpose” (Romans 8:28, NKJV). Maybe you’re in a stage of life where the future seems far from certain. Maybe you’ve experienced pain and rejection. Maybe you feel God’s call to step out of your comfort zone.


Take heart. God promises that for those of us who are saved by His grace, all things work

together for good in our lives.


Even the strikeouts.



MEET JOHN MACON





John Macon is a Print Journalism major at the University of Mississippi. He serves as a sports writer for SES Mississippi and The Daily Mississippian. He also serves as the public address announcer for Vardaman Highschool football.