One of the most iconic images in sports history is Carlton Fisk’s walk-off home run to win Game Six of the 1975 World Series. The Boston Red Sox, with the Curse of the Bambino hanging over them, had not won a World Series in almost 60 years. They were down 3 games to 2 to the Cincinnati Reds in Game Six, which went to extra innings tied 6-6. Carlton Fisk hit a home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to win it for Boston and send the Series to Game 7 (which, as a devoted Reds fan, I’m happy to report Cincinnati won). The image of Fisk waiving the home run fair is embedded in American sports history:
I was recently reading an account of Game Six and I was struck by a quote from Fisk regarding this home run:
Other than being the father of two children, this was the greatest thrill of my life.
Think about what Fisk said for a moment. He just compared something that only 14 men have ever done – end a World Series game with a home run – with something that millions of men throughout history have done. Hitting a walk-off World Series home run takes a unique combination of skill, hard work and luck; having a child takes no special skill or ability. Just about every boy dreams about hitting a home run to win a World Series game – and Fisk did it in one of the most thrilling situations – yet the Red Sox catcher said that one of the most common activities known to man – having children – was more thrilling. So what does that tell us about parenthood?
We are made in the image and likeness of God, and God is a Creator. He created the heavens and the earth, and He created man. We, too, are fundamentally creators. We create things every day – meals, notes, pictures – and each creation of ours reflects us in some way. But our greatest privilege is that we are cooperators with Him in the creation of new life. Nothing reflects us more than our own children. And without our participation, God would not create any human persons – souls who are destined to spend eternity with Him. As Carlton Fisk realized on some level – what can be more thrilling than that?
For all you parents out there, always remember that your participation in the creation of new life is more thrilling than anything possible on this earth – even more thrilling than a World Series walk-off home run.