Powerful Memories – Dave Dravecky

April 4, 2017
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I recently spent a week in Scottsdale, Arizona with the Giants organization for Spring Training. One of the things I get to do is talk with the minor-league players. And every time I do, it reminds me of my own minor-league journey. As my former teammate Jeffrey Leonard and I spent time with these men and shared stories from our experiences in the minor leagues, we only hoped that what we spoke of was as helpful and encouraging to them as it was nostalgic for us.

 

Being able to look back at those early days in the minors is so good for me because not only do I reminisce about my career, I’m also brought back to the early years of my faith. It was during those years, through Baseball Chapel, that I came to know and accept Christ as my Savior.

 

After we talked with the players, Jeffrey and I headed out of the locker room and watched as the players started preparing for their day at camp. This happened to be the day they started doing some live hitting and pitching—the pitchers took the mound and the batters entered the box.

 

All of a sudden we heard our names being called out by the head of the minor league camp.

 

“Hey why don’t you guys head out onto the field and check it out!”

 

Jeffrey and I appreciated the offer, but thought that it might be weird for us to be out there. But when we continued to watch, the President of the Giants Baseball Operations, Brian Sabian, called out to us as well.

 

“Hey! Get down on the field! We want our alumni out on the field with the other guys!”

 

So we gingerly walked down to the area that we knew to be so sacred for players. As we watched these young men pitch and hit, we had the time of our lives. They were doing all the things that we loved to do during our Spring Training days. We cherished the hour and a half that we had on the field again, reflecting on memories that reminded us why we love the game so much—why we pursued it to the degree that we did.

 

We did it all for the love of the game. I think back to when I was eight years old—the time when my mom and dad instilled in me a love for baseball. They did this not by trying to live their dream through me, but by simply being my best cheerleaders.

 

Later on, there came a point when the love of the game became so much more important to me. In August 1981, in Amarillo, Texas, I gave my life to Christ and realized that it was God who gave me this gift and placed this great love for baseball within me. I lived passionately for the game, and once I connected the dots, I lived passionately for Christ. Playing this game was God’s gift to me.

 

Fast forward. . . . After being retired from the game for 27 years now, I’m able to relive this wonderful love of the game through all these powerful memories. One thing I like to encourage active players today with is, “Enjoy it now.” You see, a day will come when it’s all over; you don’t want to look back and wish that you’d done things differently. Enjoy it—enjoy it to the full—because it’s God’s gift to you. You have an amazing gift and an incredible platform from which to display God’s love to everyone around you.

 

—Dave Dravecky

 

Dave Dravecky is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.

 

Check out Dave’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/davedravecky/      

 

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