Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review - Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith that Drives the St. Louis Cardinals by Rob Rains


I love baseball. I have loved baseball since my childhood. I specifically love the Chicago White Sox. My parents were born and raised in Chicago and the White Sox were as much a part of the family as many members of our extended family. We grew up on baseball. During most of the 20th century, baseball was either the most popular sport or one of the three most popular sports at any given time in America. It was beloved. 

I went to a baseball game last Sunday afternoon. The White Sox lost (why is it when I’m there they lose? – I shouldn’t go) and of course, I huffed and puffed for a bit, but then went on with life. The fact is they won the 2005 World Series championship and for all intents and purposes that enormous victory should get me through the balance of my days as a baseball fan.

I even like baseball films and books and Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith that Drives the St. Louis Cardinals is an interesting read. It walks us through the intricacies of the game and all of its components. It is also a splendid ride with a large contingent of Christian athletes and assorted other front office staff that call upon Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Author, Rob Rains has written several books on the St. Louis Cardinals and their storied history (only the New York Yankees have won more World Series Championships), but this book is quite different than any past entry. The book focuses on the 2012 season, but what it really zones in on is the faith walk of the people interviewed for the book. Everyone from Adam Wainwright, David Freese, Matt Holliday, Lance Berman, Jason Motte, Carlos Beltran and other members of the 2012 team. The book delves into how all of the featured people became Christians and how they sustain their daily walks with Christ.
They're all here...Mike Matheny, Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, David Freese, Carlos Beltran.
The people involved talk about their faith, but they also elaborate on how success, failure and life – inside and outside of baseball are managed on a day to day basis. We learn that as important as their baseball success is, what ultimately matters is where they will spend eternity. Do they have a strong daily take on Jesus in their lives?  These guys are inspirational characters in our world today. They are men of courage. It is not easy to state you are a Christian in most circles of life today. Even those that say they are Christians may be in for a surprise at some point. How do we live our lives? Are we giving glory to Christ who did it all for us on the Cross and more importantly beyond the grave.

Some of these guys have unwavering courage and conviction. What happens to our character that some people can be bought off with fear? Will you lose your job? Will you lose your friends? Will you get unfriended on a social media site? Why do adults even still have desires to be popular long after they have left the world of the adolescent?

Some say they don't want to be different. If you are going to be a Christian you will be different. We fear criticism, failure, rejection and loss. It's natural, but these St. Louis Cardinals and their connections have courage.     
Is this one of the best baseball books ever written? No, it isn’t, but it is a learning experience about the everyday happenings in a Major League Baseball life and yes, some of the guys seek the face of God, which makes this a unique reading ride.
I loved reading about Rip Rowan's journey from bat boy to equipment manager. You learn about the day-in/day-out process of what it means to work in baseball. Great story.

Rob Rains provides one of the must reads for both Christians and baseball fans alike with Intentional Walk

Intentional Walk is published by Thomas Nelson. Buy it on Amazon or at a local book store.

Read it.  A good read.

Just a question for St. Louis fans. Why wave white towels? White towels would represent surrender. Shouldn't they be red towels?

Copyright Read On Read Now  2013


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