Editor’s note: Pastor Ken Wilson of the Princeton Bible Church, a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and aspiring journalist, covered the American League Championship Series at Comerica Stadium in Detroit. Here’s his perspective of the goings-on behind the scenes. He observed the Boston Red Sox win two of three games in Detroit to take a 3-2 series lead back to Boston.
Imagine being a 10-year-old child gathering your friends for a game of baseball at the local park on a Saturday afternoon; picking teams, make-shift bases, borrowed gloves and a beat up old baseball, and then yelling, play ball!
You take your turn at the bat and proclaim, “I’m Ty Cobb,” or “Babe Ruth,” or “Hank Aaron,” or “Miguel Cabrera;” pick your generation, we all did it. We would dream about hitting one out of the imaginary park of our favorite team. It would only get better if we had the opportunity to go to a big league game and perhaps get an autograph or a ball for a souvenir.
Fast forward four decades and this little boy’s dream was fully realized and more! The excitement and privilege to cover the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in Detroit for the BCR was a bit more than I could contain. Little did I know, it would be even harder than I imagined. As a member of the press you cannot drink beer (no problem), can’t ask for autographs (no problem), can’t wear team apparel (no problem), and you can’t cheer for a particular team (BIG PROBLEM).
How was this little boy in me going to keep quiet when my favorite team was rallying to score and to keep from being disgusted when an opportunity was squandered? I must confess I may have broke protocol when Torii Hunter hit a double down the left field line in Game 4. I also have to remind myself not to gawk when national sports broadcasters pass by and say hi to me. I have to act professional (which many of you know is a very difficult task for me) and just greet them without saying, “Wow, you’re so and so!”
An interesting dynamic I am observing while I am here is that context determines so much of how we think, act and even believe. When I am at home and watching a baseball game I make many comments about strategy, performance and personnel. It seems to my family that I know what I am talking about. I am currently surrounded by baseball analysts, statisticians, journalists, broadcasters, players and the coaches and honestly I’m a bit afraid to open my mouth and reveal how little it is I really know about the game. I just pray I won’t say something stupid or nonsensical. It’s then my flesh kicks in and to get over my insecurities I walk around the park among the masses of people and wear my media badge proudly, allowing them to think I am somebody important, special and deserving of this privilege. Just changing the context presents me in a different light and it affects my thinking.
Our context does this to all of us. We lose a job, get a disease, lose a loved one, get a promotion or winning the lottery we think and act differently. As a pastor, that is why I love God’s Word. The Bible doesn’t change and it supersedes my context and I can trust it’s every word. It governs me, protects me, convicts and comforts me. That’s my reality. I can live with the ever changing contexts of the ballpark and the people that surround me because I’m living out a dream in real time!
Fast forward three days, I sure hope this boy gets to return to Detroit for an opportunity to cover the 2013 World Series!!