There were about seven of us sitting in a local restaurant telling tales, as men are known to do.
We laughed together as some of the men shared embarrassing fishing stories. At some point the conversation drifted from fishing and trucks toward the more serious topic of families and children.
I had been conducting a series on the family in their local congregation, and it was obvious some of the material was weighing heavy on these older men. Within a few minutes they began opening up their hearts.
One of the men began to tear up and shared the story of his son. He told me that when his son was young, they were at the little league field 3-4 times per week. He told me they practically lived at the ball field. His son was talented, and he progressed into high school and college ball. He was a phenomenal pitcher.
This heartbroken father shared with me that his son ended up being a professional baseball pitcher in MLB for 11 years. If I shared his name many of you would probably recognize it.
But then this older man went on to tell me he had not talked to his son in about 2 ½ years. The mom of this ball player had passed away, and her funeral was the last time they talked together. It was obvious this father longed to hear from his son.
He went on to share with me how his son had left the church in pursuit of his professional dreams. He told me his son lived in a mansion filled with all kinds of expensive toys—but those toys came at a huge expense. With tears in his eyes, he admitted that the cost of chasing professional baseball had ultimately cost him everything—including his relationship with his earthly father and his heavenly Father.
I will likely never forget hearing him loudly proclaim: “I wish my son had never picked up a baseball.”
You could have heard a pin drop. With tears running down his face he finally realized that pro-ball was just not worth it.
Think about that for just a moment. Here was a dad who had invested literally countless hours to get his son in the major leagues, and yet today he was wishing his son never picked up a ball.
I asked the older man if I could share his story with others, and he said, “If it will help just one person from going through what we went through then I hope you will.”
And so, I share this heartbreaking story in hopes that some dad of a young boy out there will think long and hard about what his priorities should be. In the end, that affluent life and professional sport may end up costing the soul of your son. It’s just not worth it.