In those days, Major League Baseball issued a decree that a catch should take place in the entire baseball world. (This was the first catch that took place while Manfred was commissioner.) And everyone went to a baseball city with ball gloves in hand to participate.
So Cory also went up from the town of Pearland in Texas to Missouri, to Springfield the town of Carl, because he belonged to the house and line of Carl, but also he cheered for the Cardinals. He went there with Carrie, who was married to him.
And there were semis driving past a field nearby, keeping watch over the retirement center in late afternoon. Though no angel of the Lord appeared, the glory of the Lord shone bright — clear skies on Christmas day. A wonderful gift and they weren’t terrified.
And through the game of catch and popping of leather, peace was established between a Cardinals fan and a Royals fan.
Cory played ball for Hillcrest and drove in the game winning runs in the district champions against Ash Grove. He cheers for Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright and Albert Pujols, “even though he’s no longer in St. Louis.”
Cory is now a pastor and high school history teacher in Pearland, Texas, but he has the heart of a coach.
“The relationships you develop with the students through the practices and games is the best part of the job.”
He coaches both soccer, which he played for years, and tennis, which he never played. His tennis team was ranked 16th in the state of Texas and went undefeated through districts. Cory gives a lot of credit to his partnership with the head coach.
“I can’t beat the #6 girl. I’m so bad the kids cheer for me. I’m not really helpful with anything pertaining to skill, but I am quite good at helping them think through their games. They need to be fully present for every point.”
Cory is also my brother-in-law. Though we tease about baseball loyalties and compete in everything from card games to board games, we are quick to celebrate all the joys of life. We told stories and dripped in sweat under the wonderfully warm sun and were fully present to one another with every throw.
As long as our bodies will allow, an annual game of catch just might be the perfect gift.