Last week the Cincinnati Reds celebrated the 25th anniversary of 4192—the number of career hits Pete Rose collected by September 11, 1985. The mark established Rose as the player with the most hits in Major League history. It is a mark that no current baseball player appears capable of surpassing, a mark that will stand for a long time to come.
During the remembrances and festivities, this piece came out about Eric Show, the pitcher who gave up the recording setting hit. The article is long but gripping. Show’s was a life marked by pain, loneliness, and addiction. He professed faith in Christ but continually struggled with a multitude of sins—some of others against him, some his own. An abusive father, often un-accepting teammates, and drug addiction all plagued him through his life.
In reading the piece I was deeply moved by the depths of sadness that marked Show’s life. I was reminded of the legacy we are left by our parents and the legacy we will leave to our own. I was confronted with the power of the world to crush the often fragile human heart; and how that heart can run to the deadliest remedies, remedies as bad or worse than the disease. I recognized my own deep desire to belong, to be accepted, and how devastating even half the sorrow of Show’s life would have been if I’d been in his place. I don’t know the state of Show’s eternal destiny; but I do hope that upon death he found in Christ a gentle father, an unswerving friend, and a joy that no substance could ever match.