I was spending my annual week in baseball camp with the St. Louis Cardinal old timers two winters ago. We were in their Spring Training facility at Jupiter, Florida. I had just begun the infield drills when I sprinted over to retrieve a foul ball. I stepped in a hole and my knee twisted. Down I went. Oh, the pain was sorta strong but I did not want to acknowledge anything being awry.
My team manager loaded me up on a golf cart and Whitey Herzog drove me to the training room where the team physicians began probing. How badly I wanted them to put a wrap on it and send me back out, but no such luck. I could not walk and eventually had surgery.
However, I did have a good thing happen (it always does when watching for God to make His move). A present day player who had been a special friend for about four years passed through the training room while I was stretched out on the table. We always seemed to find at least one surprise occasion each camp where I would turn some corner and there he would be in Cardinal camp getting ready for the season.
He came over and sat on my table. Terry, what have you done? How special it was he would take the time to attend to me. I could tell he was disappointed for me. He stayed awhile, wished me luck, and then disappeared into the workout gym the next room over.
Thursday he was called up from Triple A Memphis to the Bigs; this time as an outfielder instead of a pitcher. He slugged a game-winning home run that night and then hit two home runs Saturday. Rick Ankiel had earlier faltered as a star big league pitcher. Rather than quitting, he fought his way back through the minor league ranks as a slugger and is now enjoying Disney-like heroics.
I am happy for Rick and especially happy God linked our paths these last few years.