They call it one of the greatest moments in the annals of sports history. It is certainly one of the most memorable pictures in baseball history.
Kirk Gibson was playing in the 1988 World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was injured. Vince Scully was the announcer and was quoted as saying that he looked over the bench and there were no pinch hitters left. He couldn’t find Kirk Gibson because he was injured. He thought he had left the dugout.
Kirk Gibson appears. He hobbles up to the plate as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. He hits the game winning homerun!
I can still remember seeing him hobbling around the bases. He was putting his fist up in a spirit of victory. The crowd was going crazy.
Gibson has now decided to auction off that historic 1988 home run bat. The proceeds will go to help support Michigan State athletics and fund some scholarships.
An interesting thing about the bat is that it was a reject. Gibson said, “If you look at the handle on the end of that bat, there’s an ‘x’ because it was a reject. I only got it because it was so light. I was injured so I started to find something that I could swing.”
A reject bat – one of the most famous bats in history. Gibson went on to say, “The cleat marks at the head of the bat are where I hit my shoes.” You can see the red ink on the bat where he hit two foul balls. You can actually see the spot where he made contact with the ball for the homerun.
A reject. Isn’t it amazing how God oftentimes takes people who are considered “rejects” and uses them to win the biggest victory in the world. Most of the folks that Jesus picked to be His disciples were considered rejects by the people of that day. There was Matthew, the despised tax collector. No management guru would have picked the people Jesus picked to form His advisory team. The biggest criticism of Jesus was that he spent so much time with “rejects” – a prostitute, Zacheus, the people who were down and out, etc.
I am glad Jesus picked rejects. I fit into that category. Without the redeeming, transforming grace of Jesus Christ, all of us would just be nobodies. Jesus has a way of taking a nobody and making us into a somebody. He has the ability to take people who are considered a zero and use them to be a hero. In His-story a reject can be transformed into a renewal agent.
I wish I had the money to bid on Gibson’s bat. What a memory! An injured player who could hardly walk to the plate, using a reject bat, hit the winning home run. While sports will remember that well, what God does with people who have been known as rejects will live on not only in the history of this life, but for eternity.
A reject bat in the right hands can make baseball history. A reject person in God’s hands will make His-story!