Playing for Christ

Steve Barclay’s testimony

Steve began playing baseball as a youth in 1957 for his school team (Adams Elementary School). When he got into high school he was hoping to play for the varsity team, but he was plagued with a very bad (oftentimes uncontrollable) temper. He had been thrown out a couple of times of games for fighting or vehemently arguing with umpires, etc. After a very difficult practice session while trying out for his high school varsity team, he went into the locker room, opened his locker and proceeded to go on a rampage. He was mad at himself for doing poorly that day and took the frustration on the locker room. The coach witnessed that and threw him off the team. That was the end of his varsity dreams.

In 1967 the San Diego Padres professional team was started in his hometown of San Diego. Steve received an invitation to try out with them in June of that year and was very happy to be able to show what he could do. He did good, but not good enough. They suggested him to go into the low minor leagues and try to develop his pitching skills more. He had terrific control, but not a variety of pitches and not blazing speed. His baseball career therefore ended at age 23.

When it became obvious he wasn’t to play major league baseball; he concentrated totally on softball. He played competitively and won league batting titles, home run titles and played for several championship teams and trophies, but he number one accomplishment he thinks it’s at the top of the list are the changes God made in him. God woke him up and said “keep playing, but now play for me”. Since then he has been a witness on the ball fields, leading his team in prayer, inviting players to church and sharing his love for the Lord with them. Instead of being escorted by the police out of the park, he became a peacemaker.

Steve now says: “My battles with bad temper and poor sportsmanship are over. I played for a long time without thinking of God…I guess to sum up…I played for Jesus and found much more joy in the games that I did when playing only to win. I visualize activity in heaven as being many of the things we enjoy on earth: fellowship with friends, wonderful food, songs of praise, sports activities and many more exciting things to do. When my earthly body is worn out and my breath is gone; I know I’ll be transformed into a new life with the Savior and I’m hoping there will be a glove, a bat and a ball waiting for me, so I can play for him in eternity. Put me in Coach. I’m ready to play ball in HEAVEN.”

Steve’s last game was last August 28th, after 51 years of playing in organized leagues, he has retired.

 

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Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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