I’m a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, which means I come in to put out the fire if another pitcher gets into trouble, usually late in the game. Sometimes, after a night game in the Bronx, I don’t get home from the stadium till after midnight.
It was 1:00 A.M. when my wife, Erin, and I walked in the door of our apartment April 28 last year.
“I’m going to bed,” Erin said.
“I’ll be in soon,” I said. I wanted to watch the news and unwind from the game. I flipped on the TV.
“An F5 tornado struck downtown Tuscaloosa early this evening,” the news anchor said.
“Erin, come quick!” I yelled.
Tuscaloosa was my home. I’d moved away when I became a ballplayer, but my entire family and most of my friends still live there. It’s where I first fell in love with the game, playing Little League. It’s where I learned to pitch, taking my high school team to the playoffs my senior year.
It’s where I played college ball for the University of Alabama, and started pulling my socks up high, old-school style. My picture even made it onto the wall at one of my favorite barbecue joints down the road from campus. It’s where I proposed to Erin.
It was home and always would be.
We spent the rest of the night on the phone making sure our friends and family were all okay. Finally I fell into bed exhausted, and prayed the most fervent prayer of my life. Lord, please help my hometown. And guide me in what I can do.
The next morning I woke up early to do a TV interview for the MLB Network, and spoke about the devastation.
“What can people do to help tornado survivors?” I was asked.
I paused, thinking about the U of A campus, the First Presbyterian Church downtown where my family belonged. My town, my people. “Prayers are a good start,” I said, “and the United Way. There’s a number that you can text to donate.”
This is a very nice story and seems to have been originally posted on the web by David Robertson, in St Petersburg, FL, from a Guideposts article from an original book article:
Are you the original author, or did you just find this nice article? If you are, congratulations on the nice article! If you are not, NathalieF may need to remove the article. Thank you.
I've not heard of Guideposts in years! A dear friend of my Dad was involved in Guideposts early on, what seems like 40 years ago now and also his friend also started the Baseball Chapel program. WOW, wish Dad was alive to see this post and tell me more about the guy from the Baseball Chapel development and the sports writer in Detroit who began it all. And if I am correct his Grandson is a coach of a very good NBA team.
Thanks for the thread russkr
I hadn't heard of them either, but someone mentioned that this was really well written, enough that they were suspicious, so I did a Google search and found the article online at that link. Neat how things like this can link back into our past. The internet is shrinking this planet at an astounding rate, in a good way!