“WOW!!!! That’s great,” I thought. “What an example of gratitude (thinking of his “I’m the Luckiest Man in the World” speech) and vocation (he held the record for most consecutive games played (2130) until Cal Ripken Jr. beat it in 1998, and was always considered stable and reliable). So I rushed out to the library and grabbed his biography and was devouring it, until I came upon this line “there is no evidence that Lou Gehrig ever was a practicing Lutheran.” GRRRRRR. Oh well, good points aside, he was a Yankee anyway.
But this is the Lutheran Carnival that corresponds with the start of Spring Training…there HAS to be somebody. David Eckstein? Nope…Catholic…Who? Who? Who? (okay, I feel like a frantic owl).
Who indeed???? Are you ready???
Now I know many of my friends (especially those who roll their eyes when I start postin’ about baseball) are saying “WHO?” (Now who’s the owl?)
Bill Wambsganss (1894-1985) played for the Cleveland Indians (I know I just made Marie happy at Homestead Lutheran Academy) and is in the record books for having performed the only unassisted triple play in World Series history (1920). He brought excitement back to the game after the dreaded “Black Sox” incident the year before. The only unfortunate thing is that he did it against my beloved Dodgers!!! It was a very simple, clean feat, honestly. He caught a line drive hit by Clarence Mitchell for the first out, tagged 2nd to retire Pete Kilduff, who was forced to run to 3rd because Otto Miller was coming from first base because he didn’t see Wambsganss make the catch. Then, Wamby tagged him out to complete the triple play (the pic is Wamby on the left with the 3 Dodgers...boy, I bet they loved posing for that picture!).
Known as “Wamby” (because like many of us of German descent, his last name was so gosh darn long that it didn’t fit on the scoreboard), William Wambsganss was born in Cleveland, and when he was a year old, his family moved to Fort Wayne because his pastor father received a call to serve a congregation there. There he grew up and attended Concordia College Fort Wayne. According to Wamby, “if you were a boy and if your parents did their job right, the Good Lord would take care of the rest.” Especially if you were a preacher’s boy, that meant going to seminary. So, even though he had strong doubts that he would make a good pastor, he headed off to St. Louis –despite the fact that he desperately hated speaking in public, had a slight stutter, and got terrible stage fright.
In his first year at seminary, a classmate of his, who had played some professional ball, was asked by a former coach if he knew any good shortstops. The classmate recommended Bill, and so Bill went to play for a minor league team in Cedar Rapids, assuring his dad that it was just for the summer. He did really well, and the following year, his contract was bought by the Cleveland Naps (soon to be the Cleveland Indians). So Bill decided that it was time to have the dreaded talk with his dad.
Describing it 60 years later, he said he was still nervous thinking about it. But, he told his dad that he didn’t think that he was cut out to be a minister and that he really wanted to give professional ball a chance. To his surprise, his dad was VERY supportive. He assured Bill that he wanted him to be happy and was very excited for him. Besides that, Pastor Philip Wambsgannss also happened to be a huge Cleveland fan. Bill wasn’t quite sure what his father’s response would’ve been had his contract been bought out by Detroit.
Bill Wambsganss was married in 1918 and he and his wife had 3 children. After he stopped playing, Wamby coached minor league and professional women’s baseball and softball teams in Fort Wayne for a few years before coaching company teams and entering factory work in 1936. The gymnasium on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne is named for Bill Wambsganss.
Sources: The Luckiest Man(2005), by Jonathan Eig ; The Glory of their Times (1970) by Lawrence S. Ritter, ed.; and of course, Wikipedia
Much thanks to Designated Knitter for the IM saying “hey…what about Wambsganss?”
And now for the lineup:
Dan at Necessary Roughness suggested the 3rd party article "Should Christians Convert Muslims?", written at Evangelical, Catholic, Missional, Faithful. It is a consideration of cultural issues that exist in Iraq and the Middle East today; some that are important to consider when sharing our faith among the Muslims.
Going along with the Muslim theme, fresh from migrating his site to a new address, John H posts a brief review of a book by Barnaby Rogerson looking at a critical period of history, one whose effects are still felt in the world today: the early decades of Islam, and the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims that stems from those decades. John suggests that the Shia mindset, in particular, has various parallels within the church today. Entitled "Shia Tragedy," you will find that at Confessing Evangelical. In a second post, entitled "Perhaps Today" John H. looks at the parallels (on a human level) between Shia Islam and certain groups within the Christian church, and asks why Christians with unorthodox views on eschatology, particularly dispensationalists, frequently put more "orthodox" Christians to shame with their strong belief in the future return of Christ.
Ask the Pastor addressed a question about the use of "obey" in marriage ceremonies with Obedience in the Wedding Vow. Then, with More Christian Critters, he continued to build on two previous posts involving animals in Scripture and religious symbolism.
Aardvark Alley opened this penitential season with a post on the background and significance of Lent. Aardie wrote on Ash Wednesday and included the lection, collect, and litany for the day. Later on the same day, he went off in a totally different direction. Air through a G-String invokes the music of J. S. Bach in commenting on a Polish village that's wrestling with the merits and morals of changing its output of ecclesiastical lace work into lacy garments of a more carnal nature.
Along similar lines, Dan at Necessary Roughness posts "Addressing a Symptom, Not a Cause." Catholic bishops in Brazil are protesting the government's distribution of condoms during Carnival. What's not mentioned is the Roman Catholic church denouncing the licentiousness of Carnival and Mardi Gras. Then he gives us the Valentines Day gift of a mini-carnival through the blogosphere on the holiday of love.
jWinters at jwinters.com submits The Gospel According to Jimmy Buffett: Regabilly Hill. He shares how the lyrics remind him of when Jesus will come again and take us home. Personally, I just can't even type "Jimmy Buffett" without tasting margarita salt. Hey....it's 5 o'clock somewhere." ;)
In "Dear Visiting Pastor," E. Rapp of The Rapp Files shares with us a letter to a visiting pastor where he takes issue with his view of the importance of the doctrine of justification ( I like this one, I hope he sent it).
And talking about what God does for us....In her beautiful post, "Being Fed," Susan at Susan's Pendulum comments on babies being fed, brides being fed bits of wedding cake by their grooms, and a nestful of baby robins, waiting open-mouthed for their parents to come back with dinner. And what does this have to do with what happens at the altar rail, anyway?
And my good friend and yarn pusher, The Designated Knitter at Line Drive Down the Right Side admits that she has grown to see how her "her Lutheran-ness" flows through her vocation as knitter (and believe me, for her, its a vocation. She's even mission-minded). In her post "Lutheran Knitting," she calls all confessional Lutheran knitters to join a confessional Lutheran knitters blogroll....I'm so there! (and in all fairness, lest you take her side in that whole "I told her to write a post" thing, she owes me big-time. She got me addicted to knitting, blogging, AND sushi).
Lutheran Carnival XLV will be at Carol Rutz's Annexe on March 11th.
Have a Blessed Lent, a Happy Spring (because it really is Spring, despite the ice storm...baseball has started!), and GO DODGERS!