Young Bobby Savoy looked up to the Knights middle-aged right fielder more than any other on the team. As the bat boy, Bobby had the chance to get to know each of the players, but there was something special about Roy Hobbs and his magical left-handed swing. Savoy was so taken by Hobbs that young Bobby asked Roy to help him build his very own baseball bat, similar to Hobbs’s own “Wonderboy” bat that he used in everyone of his Major League at bats. The bat that Roy and Bobby built, Bobby nicknamed the “Savoy Special,” and Bobby left it proudly displayed with the rest of the team’s equipment near the front steps of the dugout.
Finishing the season tied with Pittsburgh for the league title, the New York Knights had to win one playoff game in order to win the pennant. Hurt and ill, Hobbs decided to play in the playoff game anyway, and with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Roy had a chance to be a hero. If he were to hit a homerun, the game would be over and the Knights would win the pennant. Watch the video clip below to see what happened next . . .
On the dugout steps were dozens of bats that had all seen Major League time, but Bobby passed over all of them, instead taking the one bat that Hobbs was also familiar with. In the end, this bat was used to win a championship. In the hands of Hobbs, this bat was a winner.
I was thinking about this climactic scene from 1984’s “The Natural” this week as I was reading 1 Samuel 17 — the story of David and Goliath. In this story David picked a very rudimentary weapon (a slingshot and some river rock) to go fight a giant. David could have taken any of the King’s weapons that had already seen Major League combat action, but he instead chose the weapon he was most familiar with. In the end, in the hands of the Lord, this weapon was more than enough to win the fight against the giant Philistine.
The Savoy Special and a slingshot — reminders to all of us that the largest obstacles in our lives do not always come down with the “weapons” everyone else suggests we use. On Sunday at Wildwood we will be continuing our series on “A Father’s Stories” by looking at 1 Samuel 17 and the story of David and Goliath. It is my hope that by looking at David’s faith and the Father’s provision, we all might have courage to face the large obstacles God has placed in our paths. Join us Sunday at either the 9:30 or 10:50 service at Wildwood Community Church. Feel free to “leave a comment” below expressing questions or thoughts you have about this passage heading into Sunday . . .