Playing Hardball On The Golf Ball With Softball

, , , , , | Friendly | October 18, 2019

In the early part of the century, my wife and I were deacons in a small non-denominational church east of the Canadian Rockies. One summer, we spent weeks arranging an after-service family softball game — kids vs. adults. We had to work around other church activities and scheduled it for the last Sunday in August, giving everyone four weeks’ notice. The date was pushing things; in that part of the world, we could get snow at that time. Everything was set, until…

The Sunday before the game was scheduled, a man unknown to us got up during announcements. I was in the office counting the offering but the following is the verbatim quote, as verified by several people:

“Next Sunday, there will be a men’s golf outing immediately after church. This means that the softball game will have to be postponed.” And he sat down.

As I said, I missed his statement but I got back to the sanctuary in time to hear my wife, normally the nicest and most accommodating of persons, get up and ream him a new one in front of the congregation, stating that the game was not postponed and ending with, “We will not miss you.”

The game did go on as scheduled, but there is an addendum. As deacons, we were responsible for the day-to-day running of the church and we had begun to question our pastor. He was the founding minister of the church and had become a bit too comfortable in his role. He made no secret of his love for the game of golf and, for some mysterious reason, was never around on Fridays in good weather. We always suspected he was on the links but could never prove it. 

He had an obligation to be part of the softball game and it was obvious he didn’t want to be. Initially, he suggested we only play seven innings. We shot that down. Then, he wanted to let the kids win and go home; again, no. The game went on for over three hours with the score in the teens for both sides, but when it finally ended, our holy man vanished fast enough to call it a modern miracle.

To this day, we are convinced that he put the other man up to the claim the previous week as he didn’t have the guts to do it himself.

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