Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | April 5, 2011

The Visiting Team

 

My family has followed baseball for generations, but not just baseball in general.  We are Oriole fans.  We have remained unwavering even through the last several seasons while the team was less than exciting.  It was easy to follow them through the glory days of players like Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken; but these last years served to reveal what you’re really made of as a fan.  Led by the charge of my mother and supported by the off-season reports of my son, “This could be the year” is our mantra.  We remain ever hopeful.

On Saturday we hopped in the car and headed for the west coast (that’s St. Pete for those of you who don’t live in Florida) to watch the Rays host the O’s.  We donned our Oriole apparel, including my formal O’s earrings (it was, after all, a night game).  I love the baseball experience – sitting and chatting with two of our sons and one of our daughters-in-law was a wonderful way for my husband and me to spend an evening.  In addition, we were among the first to arrive and received a genuine replica of Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria’s Golden Glove.  We took it all in – right down to the hotdogs and Crackerjacks.

A strange thing happens when you are in a ballpark, especially when in a dome like Tropicana Field, and even more so when you’re the visitor.  There’s the feeling like you’re not in Kansas anymore.   At first I felt like a misplaced orange dot in a sea of blue, but then I saw others standing out in the crowd.  We proudly wore our Oriole orange and didn’t care that we weren’t at home.  We were a part of the same family.  We didn’t snub the Rays fans (it’s not like they were Yankees), but we exchanged high-fives and cheers and hope-filled comments like we had known each other for years.

The night was even more magical because our team won.  We left with our heads held high and smiles on our faces.  We also had the Golden Gloves that we received as we entered the stadium.  It was a joy to find kids in the crowd to give them to.  As I offered mine to a boy of about twelve, his brother looked at him and said, “See, all Oriole fans aren’t bad.” 

As I pondered this later I couldn’t help but make a comparison to the Kingdom of God and remember that I am a visitor on this earth.  That’s why when I meet a fellow Christian, I immediately feel a rapport.  We wear the garb that reveals allegiance to our home.  As a Christian, that may not be an orange shirt, but hopefully there is something different about us that draws attention to God.   We visitors know that our home is someplace else,  and long for that day when we will be there.

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Responses

  1. you have at least one faithful fan Bonnie!

  2. Amen, Bonnie! And I’m not even a baseball fan. But I love being on God’s team, even if I was a last minute draft pick. Do they even do the draft thing in baseball? :-/ I love the analogy – “Go God!”
    Debi

    • Thanks, Debi. In the majors they refer to the act of being put on the team from the farm teams as “calling him up.” I like that!


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