by Rev Robert A Wendel
On September 6, 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates played the St. Louis Cardinals in a late season match of the regular professional baseball season. The lead paragraph in the United Press International wire service release the next morning read, “For the Pirates, the contest went from a blow-out early to a stirring mid-game comeback to a devastating ninth inning defeat.”
After the Pirates fought back from a 5-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the ninth, ace relief pitcher Tony Watson was one out away from wrapping up his 11th game save when a three run homer barrage lifted the Cardinals to a 9-7 victory. It was a stunning implosion for National League All Star Watson.
Interviewed later Watson said, “This sudden a loss is hard to swallow especially when the game-tying solo home run came only one strike away from a Pittsburgh victory over a long time rival.”
Pittsburgh played St. Louis the next day. Watson “saved” the game. The TV interviewer asked the Iowa favorite son “How did your teammates treat you after last night’s loss?” Tony quipped “They were great. To a man, the guys told me to keep my chin up!”
I told this story during my devotion at our Men’s Breakfast just a week later using the theme “Getting Up After a Fall.” Often a mistake that affects others can do us real emotional harm. Instead of blaming young Watson, his team remembered the many times he had helped gain them important wins during the already long, hot grueling summer.
For us there’s a triple lesson. First ‘There’s no point in ‘crying over spilt milk.’ When the milk is spilt, that’s the end of it. Forget it. The mistake is in the past. Second, no matter what happened, tomorrow is another day. And third, mercy shown in low moments will always make a real difference!