|Posted on November 26, 2018 at 12:15 AM|
My early years on the farm, high school and college passed quickly. They were great years, experiencing what life had to offer, no worries expect where my next dollar was coming from and playing baseball. I received a scholarship from Michigan State University in 1951 and my dream of becoming a professional baseball player was well on its way when a major life changing event occured. Following my sophmore year at MSU, I was drafted into the US Army. It was then I began to realized life was more than fun and games. My goal of playing professional baseball had suddenly been interruped, or had it? As it turned out I was sent to Europe where I played baseball on an Army team. An excerpt from my book:
"Upon completing my Signal Corp training at Fort Lee, I was assigned to the SixtyNinth Signal Battalion at Camp Roeder in Salzburg, Austria, to play baseball in the European Region. There were five other US military bases scattered around southern Germany and Austria with baseball teams. These teams competed in a sixty-game schedule for the European championship. The season, running from May through September, provided entertainment for the military personnel and for the local communities. In fact, the teams played to crowds of about several hundred to over a thousand per game. During the baseball season, the players were assigned to a Special Services unit, the entertainment branch of the Armed Services, and spent their time playing baseball. In the offseason (October thru March), we were assigned regular duties in the Signal Battalion. Most of the players on my team had been playing professional baseball before they were drafted into the army, and I could see the skill it took to play professionally. Several of my teammates played Triple A minor league baseball, a step below the majors. I was clearly at a lower level than these teammates, but I was undaunted by that realization. It only spurred me on to improve my skills and so I kept my sights on a baseball career when I returned to Michigan State" - Running the Good Race.
After my return to MSU in 1956, I played varsity baseball but a major change had taken place. God had used my time in the Army to come to the realizaion that I didn't have the talent to play major league baseball and if not, what was I to do. My focus changed from baseball to academics. I earned a degree in Economics, went to work for Ford Motor Company and embarked on a life trejectory I could not have imagined a few years earlier. The passage of time has a way of smothing out the bumps in the road. Looking back over the years it is amazing to see how God has used difficult and seemingly insurmountable events in my life for my benefit. The question is not will we have difficult times in our lives but how we deal with them.