This afternoon the New York Yankees topped the Minnesota Twins for the second straight game, beating them by a score of 7-1. Dating back to 2009, the Yanks are now 12-0 in their last 12 games against the Twins and going all the way back to 2002, the Twins are 3-25 in the Bronx.
That’s ownership at its finest.
With the Yanks leading 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mark Teixeira absolutely murdered a pitch off Minnesota reliever Jesse Crain, a ball crushed deep to right field. The ball landed in a luxury suite below the last tier of the ballpark.
Teixeira became the first person to hit the ball anywhere near the third level of the new Yankee Stadium.
That…was a bomb!
Last season, Jorge Posada hit a towering homer that many thought might reach the upper deck. The ball fell short of the grandstands. When he was questioned after the game about whether or not he thought the ball would reach the upper level, Posada had one thing to say:
“Teixeira’s going to do it.”
Posada, who also homered in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game, was correct.
Watching such a long and glorious home run, I had to wonder–where does Teixeira get that kind of power? Does he eat eggs, like Roger Maris did in 1961? Does he just work out every single day? Maybe he just does a lot of push-ups.
Or maybe, just maybe, he gets his power from God.
A few days ago my Uncle Tom came by for a visit at a family gathering. Being a Catholic priest (and someone I mentioned before in my blog entry about Grant Desme) he knows other priests from all over the country. Apparently one of his fellow priests from Baltimore is good friends with an umpire and his friend was able to meet Teixeira not long ago.
According to my uncle, Teixeira is a “good Catholic and attends mass regularly.”
The Yankee first baseman signed about 12 or 13 baseballs for the parish in Baltimore and those autographed balls will be auctioned off. The money will go to charity and funds for the church.
It’s a great story. It makes me proud to know he at least thanks God for what he has.
I guess I should have known Teixeira was rich in his faith. After all, he attended Mount Saint Joseph High School in Maryland–the same High School my cousin Johnny currently goes to.
The last time I saw him, Johnny told me how Teixeira gave the school a grant to repair the baseball diamond. From what my cousin told me, the field was in bad shape. The school however used Teixeira’s money and redid the football field instead.
Kind of a raw deal, if you ask me.
Johnny also mentioned how his current English teacher taught Teixeira years ago, and how he wanted to try out for the baseball team. In fact, my cousin hopes to play first base at Mt. St. Joe’s, just like Teixeira. Johnny did not get around to making the team this past season, but he wants to try next year.
And I hope he makes it!
As for Teixeira, the story about his faith makes me appreciate and admire him even more. And if you are wondering, he is currently hitting .217 with 28 RBIs on the year.
His tape measure shot this afternoon was his seventh of 2010. I guess he can go to mass tomorrow morning and thank God for that.
Vocation. The word is defined as a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action, especially a call into religious life. It’s also defined as work, or an occupation one is involved with.
Grant Desme, 23 year-old top prospect for the Oakland Athletics, has a gift. He won the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League, batting .315 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in 27 games.
He put up staggering numbers in the minor league regular season, batting .288 with 31 home runs, 89 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases in 2009. Desme was the only player in the minors to record at least 30 homers and 30 steals.
Talk about a young man with a ton of ability on the baseball diamond.
But Desme did not feel his true calling was baseball. Last Thursday the minor league’s best player retired from baseball. Yes, you heard right, he retired from baseball at 23 years old. Desme gave it all up for a higher power.
Seeking peace and aspiration for higher things in life, Desme decided to leave the game to become a Catholic priest. According to several news reports, his announcement startled A’s General Manager Billy Beane, but he was supportive and understanding of Desme’s choice.
But why exactly did Desme decide to become a priest? After all, it’s not a choice a person makes overnight; it has to be well-thought out.
The first two years of his minor league career, Desme was setback by shoulder and wrist injuries. He said that his days off the field gave him time to realize what’s important in his life and he got himself into Bible study during that time. News reports also confirm that he discussed the faith with his teammates.
Not one to distract the team during the season, Desme kept his decision to leave the game for the priesthood to himself.
I have to say, this is one of the nicer stories I’ve heard in the sporting world over the last week. Desme has so much God-given talent and I am proud that he recognizes that–that his talent comes from God and he is willing to thank Him for it. There are certain athletes that have no desire to truly appreciate what the good Lord has given them, much less devote a large portion of their life to the faith.
Desme possesses an extremely admirable quality. I know that if I were as extraordinary as him in terms of baseball, I’d never want to give that up. I would stay in the game and go on to have a lucrative career, as I’m sure that was Desme’s future.
But he opted not to do that; he remained in God and chose to enter the Seminary, which as I understand he will begin attending in August. The process of becoming a priest takes a lot of time; Desme said he will be a priest in 10 years.
Speaking as the nephew of a Catholic priest, I know (probably better than most people) that being a priest isn’t just about saying mass and giving out communion. There’s a lot more to it than that. Priests’ lives are a lot more difficult than baseball players’.
My uncle, Fr. Tom Kreiser, has been a Catholic priest for about 16 years now. In those 16 years he has had to travel the world to make pilgrimages, relocate from his assigned parish several times, and even study in Rome, Italy for four years with other priests of his order.
All of that on top of learning a number of different languages (including Latin and Italian), learning to hear confession, and learning how to guide and help other people when they’re in serious trouble. For example, if an elderly wife loses her husband of 50 years and is unbelievably heartbroken, it’s a priest’s job to make sure that woman is going to be safe in her faith, mind, and body.
I’m not exactly sure how I would handle that. I don’t think I ever could.
I have to tip my (Yankee) cap to Desme. I wish him the best of luck at the Seminary and maybe one day I’ll get to attend one of his masses. He will be in my prayers and I truly pray he succeeds. I am glad he found what he was looking for in his faith.
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.”–Matthew 19:21