I guess I’ve made my love of baseball well-known around these parts. Just as a sampler, I’ve reviewed a biography of Albert Pujols, I’ve interviewed Ben Zobrist, and a long time ago, back when the site was in its infancy, I gave a short example of why I love the game. Baseball remains the best sport around and watching it is one of my favorite pasttimes. This weekend a reader of the site mentioned that R.A. Dickey, a ballplayer and Christian to boot, had released a memoir. I picked it up and read it over the weekend. I’m glad I did.
Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball is one of the most gut-honest sports memoirs I’ve read. Dickey’s life has been anything but easy, both on the field and off. Born into a turbulent home, he tumbled up more than he grew up, enduring divorce and excruciating sexual abuse. A high school friend shared the gospel with him and from a young age he professed faith in Jesus Christ. Here is how he describes this experience:
So on a fall Friday in an upstairs bedroom on Walnut Drive in Nashville, Tennessee, I get on my knees with Bo and his mom and ask Christ to come into my life. I tell Him that I believe He is the son of God, and I want to trust Him with my life. I secretly ask for forgiveness for what seems like a galaxy of sins and guilt and shame. When I am done speaking, the room is completely still. I feel relief. A lightness. It’s not the sky opening up, or angels singing, or lightning bolts striking the big magnolia in the front yard. Nothing grand and God-like. It’s much more subtle, like the best deep breath you could ever take.
Dickey began to show great promise in two areas—his proficiency with the English language and his athletic ability. These twin strengths took him to the University of Tennessee where he played baseball for the Volunteers and majored in English literature.