Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take the money and run

Every self-respecting Cardinal fan should be fuming. Maybe a little bit heartbroken, but seeing red! Today, our fair city lost its golden boy. Our star player.

Okay, so we knew it was a possibility. Free agent status and all, but we Cardinals fans have a proud heritage of wild devotion and loyalty to our players, even post trade. We are not a lady easily scorned.

But this is different.

I was imagining a line in the sand. An opportunity for a man to set a precedent. To take a stand. To not let money rule and reign in the land. To establish a legacy of loyalty to your home team, where you got your start. Where your fans–supposedly the best fans in baseball—had your back, all 162 games. To be among the rare few like Stan Musial, Cal Ripkin Jr., Bob Gibson, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio to stay true to their home, their baseball family. (The Beach Boys song “Be True to Your School” is currently ringing in my ears.) To establish a legacy based on more than dollar signs and ego-driven contracts to make the most and prove your superiority.

Okay, so millions of dollars in the average mind is undeniably tempting. But let’s put this into perspective just a skotch. The man earns roughly $14,000 per at bat. More than $50,000 a day! My penny scraping mind can’t even fathom that kind of wealth. And further more, what could you possibly do with all that money?

Today, with a heavy heart, we let go of our home-run hero and wonder what went wrong. He broke up with us. Left our hearts bleeding Cardinal red in the wake of a bidding war. Sure there were several million reasons why he did it. And we all know him to be a believer, a good man, a giving man. I am lucky enough to volunteer regularly for his charitable foundation that blesses my incredible friends with Downs Syndrome.

But it got me thinking about my legacy. Not simply what I do, how much money I make or how much I will leave in the bank for my children someday. But the legacy that supercedes the material world that divides us.

An inheritance of the Lord.

As I pray over my children, I also pray over my husband and my ability to train them up right. Will my sons grow up to be mighty warriors for God? Am I setting the right example? Am I exemplifying the love and loyalty of Christ not simply to my rowdy little babies, but to others?

Does money talk to me? Am I easily bought or sold by cost and benefits of this market trade economy? Or is my life about something more?

As I drift through the stages of grief, I find my anger and acceptance have waged a bloody battle and settled on “Good Riddance.” Yes, how very mature, I know, but having only dated one guy before meeting my downright “Mr. Incredible” hubby, I’m not so familiar with the break up scene. “If he doesn’t want us, well then, his loss.” I nod with finality, ignoring that pesky little sting of rejection.

But, lo, my heart will find another. A new king of Busch Stadium on which to hinge another World Championship sized hope.

It’s almost too easy to forget about the overall impact of our lives when we are often just trying to survive the daily grind. So here is my question. And it’s far more loaded than you realize, so be prepared.

What is the one thing that you will want to be remembered for? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Wrap your arms around that loving Savior and hang on tight! Might be a bumpy ride, but true greatness is worth every gag-inducing diaper change, every restless night bunking with that combative sleeping toddler with a tummy ache, and someday, every rule that hurts--to keep your teenagers safe.

My hope is to leave behind powerhouse men of God. (Lord, maybe a girl next? Please.)

What about you?


  1. I agree, good riddance! I think what stings the most is being lied to. Don't say it's not about money, that you want to stay with the Cardinals, then go with the highest bidder. There are plenty of reasons to want more money. Even noble reasons such as, more money that can be used for charity. So if that's your motivation, say "you've been great and I'd love to stay here, but I'm going to go where the money is because ____." Be honest with me and I might be disappointed, but I will understand and at least you won't lose my respect. I think honesty and integrity is an important part of your legacy, be it as a baseball player or any other profession.

  2. An honest response would have softened the blow for me too. For all the talk about St. Louis being where he wanted to be, it sure does seem a little fishy. Lets call it what it is, shall we? Pride, greed, perhaps? We Cardinals fans are a strong breed. We are already moving on! Thanks Clark!

  3. I think the reason that people like you and I can't fathom that kind of wealth is because our "wealth" comes from something so much greater. Seriously. I guess he's gonna wallpaper his giant house in the green faces of the presidents.

  4. I really enjoyed this blog. It brought tears to my eyes when you spoke of your future "mighty warriers" for God. That was also my passion, and I believe I am seeing that come to pass in my lifetime for my children. How very blessed I feel:)

  5. Yes, Jenny. Our treasure is stored up for us in heaven and is infinitely more valuable! By the way, the presidential wallpaper bit was hysterical!