Sweet Song In San Fran

If you pitched Ryan Vogelsong’s story to a Hollywood producer, it would most likely end up in the reject pile with a hastily scribbled notation, “Too improbable to be believable!”

It’s a tale that involves a prospect drafted in the fifth round by the San Francisco Giants, an undistinguished five-year stint in the major leagues that produced a 10-22 record, and a ticket to Japan in an attempt to get back on track… Continue reading

From the Archives — Buck Williams

When 16th-century English theologian Richard Hooker said, “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” he didn’t know anything about NBA traders. But he did know something that Portland Trail Blazer forward Buck Williams has learned: The road to success is not always smooth. Sometimes it takes you through New Jersey. Kyle Rote Jr. caught up with the Blazers’ veteran to ask him how change has affect his life.

Click here to read our story on the third pick in the 1981 draft, Buck Williams, from our March/April 1991 issue. Continue reading

June 2013 DigiMag (Vol. 27, No. 3 Print Magazine) Now Available!

View our 68-page, interactive June 2013 DigiMag and Vol. 27, No. 3 Print Magazine on your computer, tablet, iPhone or Android TODAY! Log in here to view the DigiMag before your print magazine arrives in your mailbox.

This issue includes features on Toronto Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, San Francisco Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, Atlanta Braves sensation Jason Heyward, Texas Rangers 22-year-old reliever Robbie Ross and southern rock band Needtobreathe. Managing editor Brett Honeycutt talks about sports, culture and politics in his column “Airing It Out,” and staff writer Stephen Copeland talks about Christian Mingle, Ray Lewis and Corona in his column “Another Angle.”

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Devotional of the Week — Fall in love with saving grace

I remember the summer I fell in love with golf. I was in seventh grade and my two best friends and I all had junior memberships at a small, nine-hole golf course called Hendricks County Golf Course in Danville, Ind. We played golf every day. Some days, my dad would drop us off at the course at 6 a.m. and pick us up after work at 6 p.m. One day, the three of us walked 54 holes. When I put my clubs in my dad’s trunk at the end of the day, I rode home talking nonstop, looking forward to the next day… Continue reading

Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson and helped break the color barrier

Last April 12 was Opening Day for 42: The True Story of an American Legend, honoring Dodgers’ Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson (1919-1972). Chadwick Boseman played the man who broke MLB’s color barrier, with Harrison Ford as Brooklyn executive Branch Rickey (1881-1965). As David Q. Voight wrote in the Biographical Dictionary of American Sports (2000): “Rickey’s innovations as baseball executive, dominant role in the racial integration of organized baseball, and stimulus to the game’s expansion place him among this century’s most influential baseball leaders.” This year marks his centennial in the baseball front office. Becoming manager/executive director of the AL St. Louis Browns in 1913, his remarkable vision—and Christian convictions—created a Hall of Fame (1967) icon. Rickey was a bright, diligent student who worked through Ohio Wesleyan College and the University of Michigan Law School by teaching and coaching sports. He played pro baseball from 1903-07, a catcher batting .239 Read More

Christian rap artist Tobymac connects with golf world

Grammy Award winning artist Toby McKeehan, known by most as “TobyMac,” is making a splash on the PGA Tour. McKeehan, who played golf on scholarship at Jacksonville University and NCAA Division Liberty University, has a 4 handicap and often plays in the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am. He has played with both Rickie Fowler and Kevin Streelman at Pebble Beach. “I know Kevin Streelman, he’s my good friend,” McKeehan says. “But I didn’t really know Fowler. The crowd got huge when I played with Fowler. He’s a great guy. Super kind. Gracious. Seems to be a guy who has a faith that is serious to him. My stomach was churning three days straight.” TobyMac’s most recent album “Eye On It” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Album in 2013, and he won the K-LOVE Fan Awards Artist of the Year on June 1. “When I walk up to a microphone, Read More

Sound Relief

Robbie Ross should not have been in the major leagues in 2012, pitching for the American League champion Texas Rangers. The 22-year-old had a fine year in 2011, but most of that season was spent with Myrtle Beach in Class-A ball where he posted a 9-4 record with a 2.26 ERA while starting 20 games. It was good enough to earn him a late season promotion to Double-A where he handled himself well in six games. His lower and mid-level minor league performance was enough to earn him a non-roster invitation to the Rangers major league spring camp in 2012 for a taste of big league life, and for the Rangers to get a brief look at a prospect they had chosen 44th overall in the 2009 draft. No promises. No expectations. Ross was given the ball that spring in nine games and gave up only two earned runs in Read More

Knuckling Down

R.A. Dickey was having a miserable time with his control. Then the man of faith began to question God’s.

It was the first and only major-league start of the 2006 season for Dickey, and the Texas Rangers were hoping he was about to resurrect his career with a new pitch. His transformation to full-time knuckleball pitcher still was a work in progress, however, and the Detroit Tigers pounced on him… Continue reading

Long, Lost Eden

The stars felt so close it’d be easy to think God Himself had come down from His throne.

He knelt below them, his heart heavy, his mind swallowed by sorrow and sin. He stared up at the sky, the heavens his only comfort to his understanding. His skin bore a drop of blood. It slowly fell from his wound and swam down his cheek.

He was dying, and he knew it… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge