identity

What Jesus Freaks Can Learn From Baseball Fans

What Jesus Freaks Can Learn From Baseball Fans

On September 28, 2014, Derek Jeter, the legendary Yankee shortstop, played his final game of Major League Baseball. In the third inning, his second at-bat for the game, Jeter knocked an infield hit over the reach of third-baseman Garin Cecchini for an RBI single. After a moment on base to consider the weight of the moment, Jeter signaled to his manager that it was time, and then he walked off the field and into retirement...and undoubtedly into the Hall of Fame. 

Everyone present at Fenway Park that day understood the significance of the moment. They witnessed the curtain call of one of greatest and most respected baseball players of this generation. And that's when it happened. As ESPN writer J.R. Moehringer describes, "that familiar chant, which has become his theme song, his war cry. Two descending musical notes, G-sharp, F, G-sharp, F, a downward sloping cadence that sounds almost like a playground taunt. DER-ek JE-ter! Nyah-nyah, nyah-nyah." 

For the next two minutes, there were no Red Sox fans, no Yankees fans; just baseball fans. More than that, they were sport fans. Culture fans. America fans. Fans of life itself, experiencing in that moment both greatness and sadness that is familiar to all of us. There in Fenway park, for one night only, a fierce sporting rivalry more than 100 years in the making was cast aside to honor the career, the memories, the man, the name of Derek Jeter. And it was beautiful.

I'm Feeling 22

I'm Feeling 22

I was in middle school in 1990, which means that I had crush on Winnie Cooper, the on-again-off-again girlfriend of The Wonder Years' protagonist, Kevin Arnold. 

In 2016, NOVA published a video starring Danica McKellar, the actress who played Winnie Cooper, all grown up and good at math. In the short segment, Danica shares about the challenges she faced trying to find her identity outside of the Wonder Years. The question plaguing her thoughts was, "Who else would I be if I didn't have this role?" Even as a student at UCLA, she was constantly (and only) recognized as Winnie. At first, that kind of fame would have been flattering; after a while, however, it got old. Winnie Cooper was the identity she couldn't shake. Nothing against Winnie, but that wasn't who she really was, it wasn't who she wanted to be, nor was it who she knew she could be.