Eric Dishongh, PhD
Connecting others to Jesus and His church as a husband, dad, minister, counselor, professor and friend
Back to Blog
The year was 1997. Ed Reed was a senior at Destrehan High School in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. I was a junior.
Throughout my entire my life up to that point, baseball meant everything to me. It was my life.
I started playing baseball when I was six years old and had several accomplishments along the way. From age 10 to 15, I played All-Stars each year. Our recreation team won the parish championship when I was 14, and I was one of two 7th graders who started at Harry Hurst Middle School. I played Metro baseball for a couple of summers and by my sophomore year, I had made the varsity team at Destrehan as a reserve second baseman.
By the time my junior year rolled around, though, it was becoming obvious that I would not start at second base. Head coach Stephen Weber and I had a talk. He said, “Eric, why don’t you try playing third base?” I reluctantly agreed knowing that starting there was also a long shot.
At one of our practices, I was taking reps with a couple of other guys at third base. All the sudden, I see Ed Reed leaving the track and making his way to the baseball field. During his senior year, Ed Reed had a “last blast” attitude in which he played as many sports as possible, including football, basketball, track and now, evidently, baseball.
With a big smile on his face, Coach Weber immediately says, “Ed, grab a bat!” On the first pitch, Ed hits a ball over my head at third base (I know that’s not saying much!), and I turn around to watch it go as far over the left field fence than I had ever seen before.
With shock and amazement of how far he just hit that baseball, I look over to the shortstop and say, “Hey man, what position does Ed play?” The shortstop quickly replied, “Third base!”
At that moment, I finally came to the realization that my original dream of starting on the varsity team and later playing baseball in college (and even the pros) was nothing more than a childhood fantasy!
I decided to retire from baseball!
That was an extremely painful decision. I didn’t know what was next. I just knew that baseball was over.
Within a short amount of time, however, I was able to pursue other opportunities since I was no longer playing baseball, including serving as a summer intern minister and later going to Harding University to major in Bible and Religion. And the rest is history.
I’m reminded of the saying, “When one door shuts, another opens.” This was certainly true in my life.
The Bible says, “Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.”—Acts 14:27
I’m also reminded that not every kid is going to have a Hall of Fame career like Ed Reed!
With that in mind, instead of me simply dumping all my extra money in my children’s sports in the hopes that they will one day get a scholarship and “go pro” like Ed Reed, it’s probably a better idea to continue putting money away for their college education!
Enjoy your retirement, Ed! I know that I’ve enjoyed mine!