Friday, August 07, 2015

Are You There, God? It's Me...Carlos

AUGUST 6th, 2015-This young man is Carlos Mesa. He plays for The Greenville Drive​ in the South Atlantic League. He's 27 years old, and yes, that's considered a bit old for Class-A ball. 

His numbers don't seem especially noteworthy; at first glance, one wonders what chance he has of advancing up the ladder. He does appear to have a significant amount of power. But numbers have nothing to do with why I'm posting this photo. 
Procyshen practices precision in putting the
pellet in play. Yeah, I know; sounds goofy.
But I'm a big fan of alliteration.

On April 21st, the Drive paid us a visit here in Lexington. Being a Red Sox affiliate, I naturally had to be there. Specifically, I was there to see catcher Jordan Procyshen, a recent draftee from Alberta, Canada, and a player at Northern Kentucky University. This being a double-whammy for me (Canadian AND with ties to Kentucky), I made him my first target. But Mesa caught my attention, as well. 

Every batter has a particular mental and physical approach that they go through before they walk to the batter's box. Mesa intrigued me with his, and I was seated not more than 10 feet from the on-deck circle so I couldn't have missed it. 

Before each at-bat, Mesa would go through the routine of taking some warm-up swings with the bat weight. He'd stretch a bit, watch the pitcher, try to work out his timing. 

Then he would kneel and pray. Each at-bat, no exception. He would just lean on his bat and pray for a moment. And I decided that I liked that. 

I'm not the most religious guy around. In many cases, I've often felt that 'religion' in and of itself is vastly overrated; that it's more of a show we perform for one another's own edification. God Himself may or may not have a role. But religion is a man-made construct, and has little if anything to do with true faith and belief. For my part, I most definitely believe in God. But that's just how I see it. 

And because I believe that God knows our hearts, no matter what we do outwardly, I believe that He will reward this young man's faith and perseverance (if he truly does believe; only God can know with certainty). 

Because I believe that what we say and do is reflective of what we feel in our heart to be right, I believe that this moment captured here in lights and bytes is an illustration of what Mr. Mesa holds dear. Again, only God can know for certain. 

In the world of professional baseball, his journey may never lead him to the Majors. But in his journey through life, he may be on a comparatively more significant path. His actions, his choices, will ultimately show what kind of man he is, and what he holds most precious in this world. 
Mesa hits one over the moon.
Nevertheless, I appreciated the gesture. I took it for what it was worth. And it stuck with me. Maybe it was just the timing of it all for me, but it made an impression; at least, enough of an impression that I made the decision to write here about it now. 

Each time, Carlos went though his routine: first tending to matters of game-related importance, then to decidedly more significant priorities. It made me smile. 

Incidentally, right after this image was shot, Mesa had a shot of his own. It flew out to left-center field and probably clipped a Cessna on its way out. Was it his praying that powered that missile?

Who knows for sure? But it couldn't hurt to try. 
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