By Del Duduit
This weekend was a whirlwind for me. I did a lot of traveling, but I had a great time working on an exciting project.
It all started last Thursday when Angie and I went to Huntington, WV to hear President Trump speak to about 10,000 Bible-clinging, gun-toting, flag-waving deplorables.
Then it was off to Cleveland where I was able to land a few rare minutes with the MLB’s hottest young player, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. This young man reminded me of GI Joe. He has a wonderful testimony to share and is open about his faith. We had a productive and fun chat inside the New York club house.
But perhaps one of my most memorable interviews was in Cincinnati with St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny. We spent some time in the dugout before the game.
To start with, the Cardinals organization and clubhouse was the epitome of professionalism. I spent some time with three-time All-Star and two-time World Series winning pitcher Adam Wainwright as well as infielder Matt Carpenter. Everyone there was a class act. That helps to explain why they always seem to be in the playoffs.
Mike is from Columbus but turned on us and played college baseball for that school up north. He was a solid catcher for a few teams and had to retire due to continued concussion symptoms. He played for the Brewers, the Blue Jays, the Cardinals and the Giants and is one of only three Major League catchers with an errorless season of at least 100 games.
“Iron sharpens iron”
When he played in San Francisco, he set the single-season team record in 2005 for catcher’s fielding percentage at .999. It can’t get much better than that.
He is the first manager in MLB history to guide a team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons (2012–15). But all of those accomplishments was not what impressed me.
I was amazed at his total outlook. He said something to me toward the end of the interview that I have already enacted into my personal life.
I have made mistakes – we all have – but I seem to be really good at it. I don’t like doing that, and I believe Mike’s advice will help me. I started his philosophy this past Sunday.
“I have a group of men — a board of directors — who I lean on as far as spiritual growth and leadership,” he said. “We are friends, and we hold each other accountable. We discuss life, encourage each other and pray for each other on a consistent basis. We have done this for years.”
I like that. I need that.
“Iron sharpens iron,” he said. “We as Christians have the opportunity to do this alone or surround ourselves with good people.”
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
I made some calls Sunday afternoon, and I want to personally thank the four men who have agreed to be on my own personal board of directors. You all know who you are because you read my posts. I haven’t come up with a snazzy name yet, but I’m sure I can think of something corny. I was so excited and honored to see the positive responses come in via text and Twitter when I asked them to join.
“Absolutely! No thinking about it! I’m in!” was one of the responses. “Del, thanks for inviting me. I’m honored,” was another one. That made my day. Just to know there are men out there who will help you when you call is amazing! God is amazing!
I’m excited to make room in my life for something that has been needed for quite some time. I want to do right and please the Lord. I have failed on my own, and I feel this small band of brothers will help me in life’s journey. It certainly won’t hurt. I know God is going to take care of me.
I am looking forward to sharing my ideas and struggles with them about two times per month. I am also eagerly anticipating praying with each other and helping one another become stronger Christian men. We have promised to hold each other accountable.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35
Thanks, Mike, for the great revelation. No wonder you are a fabulous manager. I think I have just surrounded myself with some very good people.
Are you accountable to anyone? Do you feel doing something like this might help you become a stronger Christian?
Also – let me know if you have a good suggestion for the name of my personal board of directors (keep it light-hearted and clean.)