Two outs, bottom of the ninth, one batter away from making history. It’s the IDEAL plot for any pitcher, and on Sunday, August 8th, Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher Brandon Morrow was embedded in the scene. He threw a four seam fastball to Evan Longoria, who hit a sharp groundball between the second baseman and short stop. Toronto Blue Jays’ second baseman, Aaron Hill, dove powerfully for the ball, but the ball trickled off his glove into centerfield. The “No Hitter” was No More! How did Brandon Morrow handle the heartbreak? He regained his composure, and then he struck out the next batter to earn the first “Shut Out” of his career. Interestingly enough, Morrow never blamed his second baseman for missing the play. In fact, he told reporters, “He did the best that he could. That’s just part of the game.”
It’s been a very interesting season in the world of Major League Baseball. Several “No Hitters” and “Perfect Games” have been thrown which is HIGHLY unusual. But what is even MORE odd? It was the second time this season these amazing achievements have been lost in the LAST out of the game! Earlier in June, Armando Galarraga, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was robbed from a “Perfect Game” because of a blown call by the first base umpire. Replays show without any discrepancies that the throw beat the runner to first base. Even after the Detroit Tigers challenged the call with the Commissioner, the call stood, and Galarraga did not receive the “Perfect Game” he EARNED! How did Galarraga handle his heartbreak? He publicly forgave the umpire and said, “Being an umpire isn’t easy. They have hard calls to make all the time. We all make mistakes!”
It seems like our society is quick to place professional athletes and celebrities on pedestals that only few can reach. And most of the time, professional athletes have nothing to offer beyond the world of sports! However, it appears like Brandon Morrow and Armando Galarraga are men of different caliber. Even with all of the glamour and fame of professional baseball, they remembered one of the most important facets of life, forgiveness!
Surely as people who have been FORGIVEN by the blood of Jesus Christ, we can FORGIVE others! How much healthier would our families be if we chose to forgive? How much happier would our relationships be if we always forgave? How much stronger would the church be if it favored forgiveness? Instead of us “dreaming” what it would be like, why don’t we find out? “...Forgive as the LORD forgave YOU.” (Colossians 3: 13)