world series palyers

If you have ever been opposed or felt negative influence against you, you’re probably on track to fulfilling your destiny. If one shies away from problems or struggles you probably will not find it! There are spiritual forces fighting against us all the time to not fulfill our God given destiny.

Most of my early life was spent being chased by fear and, on limited situations today. My dad, who was an amazing hard worker was afraid of just about everything, mom was right behind him. If you do this, that terrible thing will happen. The often used words associated to fear, “what if” were often used. Fear can also protect us from bad stuff but when fear is the constant motivator, it paralyzes.

Dad never broke out of this mindset, even before his death earlier this year at 94 years of age. While working 33 years for the postal service, his fears kept him confined to a minimal lifestyle and limited community. It wasn’t until later in life that allowed me to give him grace when it became clear that he might be on the autistic spectrum. My heart melted and took on a different pathway with dad.

Those of you who follow me know a few of the stories about overcoming fear. Fear can be a legacy stopper, keeping a person from stepping into their destiny, created by God in advance. It takes our effort, with His help to push through fear to the other side. The courage that comes from this process encourages us toward the next obstacle and then the next.

Do you want to be an overcomer, one who finds stride with their legacy? Then stepping into (saying no to fear) your legacy becomes a crucial guiding pathway.

In 1975, early in my MLB career, the fiery Billy Martin was manager for the Texas Rangers for a game in Minnesota against the Twins. It’s a day I said “no more” to a reoccurring fearful situation. Future Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins was on the mound. Fergie was a 7-time 20-game winner. One doesn’t have to tell Fergie how to pitch or what to throw. On this particular day Fergie was going to have his way and set up an opportunity for me to push through some fear.

We were ahead in the game by one run with bases loaded and one out when Fergie decided he wanted to throw a fastball on an 0-2 count to Dan Ford. Ford was one of their better hitters and one who could hurt you in key situations.

Billy Martin hated a hitter getting a hit on an 0-2 pitch and particularly with a fastball thrown. Against my wishes, Fergie decided he wanted to throw a fastball, Billy always wanted a curve in that situation. Pow, the ball was hit up the middle on the infield into centerfield scoring two runs to take the lead with the result of Minnesota effectually winning the game.

When the second runner crossed the plate you could hear an explosion in the dugout. I glanced over toward Billy in the dugout through my mask, holding my glove up to block his view of my eyes and he was furious at me. Veins were popping in his neck and saying things I won’t print. My radar apps on my phone indicate a severe storm approaching in a matter of moments when I got back to the dugout.

When the inning ended, I thought for a moment if Minnesota needed a new catcher. That wasn’t an option so I trotted slowly to our dugout. Billy jumped me like a drill sargent in basic training. After listening to him for a moment, my time came. “I didn’t throw the pitch” and while yelling back pointed to Fergie, and said, “He threw the pitch, go talk to him”!

There was a quiet moment as Billy pondered his next statement. Then he burst forward again, “Your out of the game, go down and sit on the end of the bench”! Generally when a player is out of the game he can go to the showers but not this day, I had to sit on the bench while Billy scowled at me with his intimation look.

Just so happened, the owner Brad Corbett and President Bobby Brown were in attendance and in the locker room after the game. As I entered the locker room, Bobby Brown and Billy were in a shouting match. Bill said to Bobby, “ I want to send Sundberg to the minor leagues”. Bobby shouted back, “you’ll send him down over my dead body”!

Nice entry into the locker room atmosphere, players were running everywhere to avoid the confrontation and I wanted to depart as well.

I stood up to Billy that day, saying “no” to the fear and thus stepped into my legacy with Texas. Billy was fired within 10 days of that incident.

So, If you have ever been opposed or felt negative influence against you, you’re probably on track to fulfilling your destiny.

Be an overcomer and a conquerer because that is what a Son or Daughter of the loving King of Kings and Lord of Lords has as their position in Christ. Stepping into your legacy matters to you and your family.

Jim Sundberg