The Unknown Man on a Winning Team

The Unknown Man on a Winning Team

"Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another."—Gal. 5:26

Each year at world series time sports pages carry two very interesting pictures, at least interesting to me. These are the group photographs of the two pennant-winning teams.

There they sit, row upon row—players, manager, coaches, and bat boy. Usually not in the picture but very important are the scouts who look for new talent and who spy on opposing teams. Also not shown are the office workers and those who work on the business side of the game.

About forty men usually get in the picture, and although they are considered important enough to be shown, how very few of their names can even a sports-minded reader be sure of. But all of these unfamiliar faces and names are important—in their way just as important as the heavy hitters and good pitchers who make the headlines. Their salaries are lower, their names are not in the papers so much, but without them there couldn't be a team.

Multiply forty by sixteen, the number of big-league teams, and you have over six hundred almost unknown big-league ball players. Then count up the hundreds and hundreds of other minor-league players playing on the "farm" teams of the ma­jors and you realize what a vast number it takes to produce a pennant race and finally the big event we call the World Series.

Are these unknown players envious or jealous of the few big stars who get the top money and front pages? Perhaps some are, but the majority probably aren't. And anyway, for better or worse, they are essential to big-league ball playing.

Life is like baseball in this respect. Every city, factory, church, and any kind of organization requires a vast majority of people who never acquire fame--yet they're as important as those who do.

Just in the Church alone many, many men and women work year after year without any praise, or pay, or recognition. They teach Sunday school; they help clean up the building; they help raise money; they visit homes of new people in town; they help with suppers; they read their Bibles and pray at home for others. They never preach from the pulpit, but without them there could be no church.

Most homes contain a mother who stays in the background. She works from early morning to late at night for her husband and children. She sends them out dressed well and clean. She listens to their troubles. She encourages them. These mothers whom we take for granted make our homes good ones.

If you're in any group, on any team, in any school class activity, remember the big-league ball players and how few of them reap the glory of headlines and big pay. Do your best. If you're one of the stars, fine. If you're not, play on the team the best you can.

Jesus had twelve leading disciples. We know the names of these twelve and a few other followers, but just a few. What valiant souls and stalwart heroes there must have been among the unknown many! They helped make the Christian Church too.

Who was the Unknown Soldier? Nobody knows. His body lies at Arlington, Virginia. He symbolizes those unknown thousands of soldiers who gave their lives for America.

Give your best, whether a star or just one of the many. Your reward will come in time.

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