In honor of opening day and the start of the new baseball season, I thought I’d share this baseball “reset.”
It involves two great Yankees players who developed a lifetime bond. The reset that one player experienced would ultimately help to lead to a reset for the other.
Bobby Richardson was born in South Carolina and he had a “reset” moment at 14 years old. His mother invited the church’s pastor to come to their home and he talked to Bobby about faith. Richardson heard a verse saying that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and he knew that was the path he wanted to take.
Three years later, at the age of 17, Richardson was invited to a tryout with the Yankees. Some of the Yankees veterans were having some fun with the baseball hopefuls and were not letting them into the batting cage. Mickey Mantle walked over to Bobby Richardson, put his arm around the rookie, and told the other players to let Bobby have a chance.
That was the beginning of a friendship that would last well beyond the end of their playing careers.
Richards would visit Mantle and Mantle would make visits to South Carolina. Over the course of their lives together, Richardson made it a point to talk about faith with his friend, Mantle.
Mantle had been battling through alcohol addiction since his playing days and it took a toll on him physically. Ultimately, it was discovered that he had cancer and needed a liver transplant.
Following one conversation with his doctors, Mantle called Richardson and they talked and prayed together over the phone. Mantle’s health quickly declined and Richardson went to Dallas to visit his friend in the hospital.
When Richardson walked into the room, something was different with Mantle.
“He had a smile on his face. He said, ‘Come over here, I can’t wait to tell you this.’ He said, ‘I want you to know I’m a Christian, I’ve accepted Christ as my savior.”
Richardson viewed it as his friend’s reset. And, Mantle’s reset would lead to the chance to share it with others.
In the final weeks of his life, Mantle took the opportunity to see his life in terms of his own reset. In one of his last press conferences, Mantle said to the world, “Don’t be like me.” To a generation that had idolized him and his abilities, Mantle said stop looking at me as a role model. In the short amount of time, Mantle made the most of his reset.
He died on August 13, 1995 in Dallas. His friend, Bobby, presided over his funeral service.
Every reset matters and time is not the issue.