Mark McGwire is one of the greatest home run hitters in baseball history. Me, I played two years of Little League and never put on real cleats in my life. So what do Mark McGwire and I have in common? Let me explain.
One summer I worked as a parking attendant in the parking garage behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Now, this garage has a level that is not covered. As you may know, sometimes home runs go over the Green Monster. So, as you might guess, sometimes cars parked in our garage would get a free souvenir – you know, a broken windshield or a nice big, white dent in the hood. But whether the ball hits a windshield, a new Mercedes hood, or the cement, it makes a loud noise – and all the parking attendants make a mad dash for the ball.
One weekend, Mark McGwire was in town with Oakland to play against the Red Sox, and he hit 3 homers on Saturday and by Sunday mid-game he had already hit another one. This tied the record for homers in a weekend. So on his next at-bat, we in the parking garage were waiting…
We stood waiting gazing at the back of the left-field screen, even though it’s impossible to see the ball when it comes. Then he hit one good … you couldn’t see anything, but you could hear the crowd. We watched and listened. All of a sudden: thud! The chase was on. I slipped around a car and fell to the ground, and swiped the ball out of a little puddle beneath the car. I was so excited.
A few minutes later, a sports reporter from the Providence Journal-Bulletin approached me and interviewed me. You know, a few days later, he wrote an article in his paper all about Mark McGwire – and me. I couldn’t believe it. Mark McGwire did all the real work. All the hours of practice, all the games, the injuries, the time away from family, the dealing with the media, the heavy price of fame. He had to actually swing the bat, strike a small ball going 90 mph in the right spot, and hit it hard enough to knock it 400 ft. All I did was wait for a ball that practically landed on my head, and I got 50% of the glory with Mark McGwire. I cut out the article and couldn’t wait to show everyone…
So often in the Gospel the Lord tells His disciples to watch: “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mk 13:37) He performs all His miracles and marvelous works so that we’ll watch. He knows we don’t quite know what’s coming and when, but it will come and when it does, it will make enough noise so we can seek it and find it – if we‘re watching.
The Lord doesn’t want us to miss out.
Our 50% of the glory.
Are you watching?