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It didn't take long for the baseball world to take sides over Sammy
Sosa's indiscretion over using a corked bat at the plate. Some say he was
trying to break out of his batting funk created by being hit in the head
by a pitch a few weeks before. Others took him at his word; he simply picked
up the wrong bat as he was going to the plate-a bat that he said he used
to put on a hitting show for the crowds during batting practice. I want
to believe Sammy-most fans want to believe Sammy, because Sammy has become
a celebrity to most people and a hero to others-even to people who aren't
In an editorial for USA Today, Andrew Abrams offers some insight into
the difference between celebrities and heroes. "Society is generally eager
to forgive when its heroes occasionally stumble. However, consistent with
heroic mythic, when the heroes falter because of character flaws, they
must realize the error of their ways and seek forgiveness with sincere
remorse. Often this realization and redemption, if anything, make the hero
even more heroic. Importantly, though, this redemption cannot come from
a clutch home run or a game-saving acrobatic catch. The issue is not the
physical prowess of the hero, but rather the individual's character, because
talent without character creates celebrities, not heroes."
Character does count. In the end, it is the true measure of a man, you
can measure the popularity of a man by the length of the shadow he casts
on society, but the real value of the man is in the trueness of his heart.
The talents God gives us are His gift to us. What we do with them-the life
of integrity we lead is our gift back to Him. No, I'm not talking about
home runs, corked bats, denials, suspensions or fines-I'm talking about
living life with integrity in the spotlight or in obscurity. We need people
who don't use "corked bats" in games or in batting practice. We have enough
celebrities. We need heroes-men and women with character.
Psalm 26:1 KJV "Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity:
I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide."
Source: USA Today, June 19, 2003, p. 13A
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