Sunday was one of those hectic but blessed days at the ballpark. Before leaving for the "yard" I was tired just thinking of everything that would transpire during the day. Things went very well though for which I was very grateful!
We conducted chapels for both the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays. Attendance was down but our Faithful Five joined me in the Jays' chapel. It was great to see Josh Bard, one of the chapel reps with the Cleveland Indians again. Following our two Baseball Chapel services with the players, I met with the umpires in their clubhouse. Ted Barrett (#65 in picture below), a committed Christian umpire, has become a good friend and we had a great time of fellowship.
Following our visit, two other umps joined us and I briefly shared with them the content of the chapel message given to the players. Ted then led us in a very moving prayer as he prayed for those in the Southern U.S. who were dreading the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. How exciting to know that major league umpires see the "bigger picture" and have a genuine concern for others. Before leaving I gave Ted several Bibles and found out later that he had given one to one of the umpire's clubhouse attendants who was very appreciative.
After my session with the umpires I met two men who used to work at the ballpark. One was the security guy at the Visitors' Clubhouse and the other worked elsewhere at what used to be known as Skydome. How rewarding to discover that ministry that had been directed towards them had been fruitful and much appreciated!
On Sunday a group of soldiers and their families from Fort Drum Army Base in upstate New York near Watertown attended the game. Earlier in the season I had met Charlie Reynolds, the chaplain of one of the batallions when they made a previous visit. This time former major league ballplayers Bryan Hickerson and Roger Mason were with the soldiers along with Chaplain Reynolds.
Not only does Bryan minister to the Chicago White Sox through Baseball Chapel but he heads up the ministry to military personnel that UPI (Unlimited Potential) carries on on an international basis. It was good to see Bryan and Roger again. I'll be traveling with my sons to Fort Drum, NY tomorrow and will tour some of the army base with Chaplain Reynolds on Wednesday. Matthew and Nathan are excited about that!
Before leaving the ballpark I briefly visited with two Blue Jays' alumni, Tony Fernandez and Gary Lavelle. Both are long-time friends who know and love the Lord. It sure was so good to see them again! I also got to say "hi" to Cito Gaston, the manager who led the Blue Jays to two (2) consecutive World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993. Cito was always very supportive of the Baseball Chapel ministry I carried on.
As I left the stadium I was able to say to the Lord and to myself, "It's been a great day at the ballpark!"
There you have it! A part of the day in the life of "The Fish". Thanks so much for your ongoing prayer support!