Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tossed Him A Baseball

Former Boston Red Soxs third baseman Wade Boggs used to hate going to Yankee Stadium. Not because of the Yankees--they never gave him that much trouble--but because of a fan. That's right: one fan.

The guy had a box seat close to the field and when the Red Soxs were in town he would torment Boggs by shouting obscenities and insults. It's hard to imagine one fan getting under a player's skin, but apparently this guy had the recipe.

One day before the game, as Boggs was warming up, the "fan" began his typical routine, yelling "Boggs, you stink" and variations on that theme. Boggs decided he'd had enough. He walked directly over to the man, who was sitting in the stands with his friends, and said, "Hey fella, are you the guy who's always yelling at me?" The man said, "Yeah, it's me. What are you going to do about it?"

Wade took a new baseball out of his pocket, autographed it, tossed it to the man, and went back to the field to continue his pregame routine.

The man never yelled at Boggs again; in fact, he became one of Wades' biggest fans at Yankee Stadium.

Other players have been known to deal with antagonistic fans by returning obscenities, or spitting on them, or even, on occasion, punching them in the nose. Boggs dealt with his tormentor by befriending him.

You may find yourself in Wade's shoes someday. For no discernable reason, someone may decide not to like you. Maybe it's something you did, maybe it's something you didn't do, maybe it's something you can't help--but suddenly you find yourself in hostile territory. Our natural inclination is to fight back, but there is a better way to eliminate enemies once and for all.

Abraham Lincoln made this observation: "I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend."

Also on this subject, the apostle Paul said... Ro 12:17-18 Recompense to no man evil for evil. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Tossing an autographed baseball to the loud mouths you have to deal with may or may not repair the rift, but it will accomplish two things:
One, it will knock holes in the case they have built against you.
Two, you will have done your part toward to establishing terms of peace.


Johnny said...

Wow! What a great post and illustration. Thanks for sharing it with us.