Even in a Pandemic, the Spiritual Side of Baseball Returns in the Stories We Share

Each Year, Our Writers Salute the Spiritual Side of Baseball

Martin Davis tells us:
How a Young Pitcher’s Spirit Inspires Generations

COVER STORY—Love sports? Have we got a treat for you in this week’s issue! That’s all thanks to Martin Davis, our contributing columnist who lives near Washington D.C. and who loves to report true stories about the spiritual side of sports.

Yes, you read that correctly: There is a spiritual side to sports. That theme—echoed each year by three of our most popular writers—certainly isn’t something they invented. One of coach Leo Durocher’s most-quoted lines is: “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” Part of the talent of writers like Martin Davis is that they truly understand the game—and, then, Martin is able to tell us unforgettable real-life stories that lift our spirits.

In fact, right now, Martin Davis is working on an entire book of stories about high school coaches nationwide—men and women, black and white, famous and unsung heroes alike. This week, he is sharing with our online magazine readers one of the most moving stories he has discovered in his year of virtually crisscrossing America, looking for such transcendent true stories.

Please, read Martin’s story about a young pitcher whose legacy continues to inspire generations. And, please share it with friends on social media or by email.

Learn More About Martin’s New Book

GET TO KNOW MARTIN—Are you inspired by his Cover Story this week? Or have you been following his occasional columns over the past year or so—and feel moved by his storytelling?

Please, read our Front Edge Publishing column this week about a special outreach effort Martin has launched to help produce his book of real-life, diverse sports stories—even in the midst of a pandemic. Yes, it’s also an inspiring story you’ll want to share with friends.



Holidays & Festivals

NOT THIS YEAR’S VISION OF THE HOLIDAY! The beloved tradition of vast crowds spilling out of mosques into streets and parks for Eid al-Adha prayers likely will be missing this year in most Muslim communities around the world. Families will have to celebrate with the more manageable joys of sweet treats followed by a delicious feast—but probably served in smaller family circles.


THE FEAST REMEMBERING FATHER ABRAHAM, and especially his faithfulness to God, will have a different look and feel this year in the midst of a pandemic. On the morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims dress in their finest clothing and offer prayers (in most years, in congregation). Following prayers, adherents exchange festive greetings and give gifts (Eidi) to children. Even non-Muslims are invited to take part in the joyous feasts and festivities. Please read Stephanie Fenton’s column and share it with friends so they are reminded to wish Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers well.


MOURNFUL FAST—This year’s Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av also will be affected by the pandemic for some people. Undertaking a 25-hour fast could lower one’s resistance to the virus, at least some public health officials have said in Israel—not to mention the risk of public gatherings on the observance. Stephanie Fenton has this story.


Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com



Quiet Fire


REMARKABLE BUT TRUE! These days, it’s hard to recall such an era, isn’t it? But, in this week’s Quiet Fire episode about the spirituality of Abraham Lincoln, historian Duncan Newcomer explains why Lincoln deeply believed in kindness—and what that word meant to him.




‘CLEMENCY’ gets 5-out-of-5 stars in Ed McNulty’s review this week. There’s not a more timely film with the return of federal executions. Click this movie image, above, to read Ed’s review.


CLICK THIS IMAGE, at right, to learn more about the July 2020 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, a monthly online magazine that is packed with complete study guides to discuss faith perspectives on contemporary cinema.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these films available for streaming now. 

  1. CLEMENCY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Chinonye Chukwu has given us a prison film unlike most anything you have seen, in that her focus is not on a condemned prisoner, but on the person in charge of the execution of prisoners, the warden.” (5 out of 5 stars)
  2. RANGOON—”Director Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hindi film is set during WW 2, mostly in a Mumbai movie studio and at the Burmese border where British-led Indian troops are fighting the Japanese invaders.” (4 stars)
  3. HAMILTONEd gives 5 out of 5 stars to the film version of the award-winning Hamilton play.
  4. THE HALF OF IT—Ed writes, “If you are looking for a feel good movie that is also insightful, then director/writer Alice Wu has just the film for you. Centering on three high school seniors, this coming of age film stands far above most others about teenagers that I have seen.”
  5. ONLY—”The plot of director/writer Takashi Doscher’s apocalyptic film differs from what is transpiring today in that most of the pandemic victims are women.” (4 stars)
  6. ADU—”Spanish director Salvador Calvo serves up three stories set in Africa, two of which really make us feel the impact of the world refugee crisis.” (4.5 stars)
  7. GREYHOUNDEd gives 4.5 stars to Tom Hanks in Greyhound. Ed writes, “Hanks turns in an excellent performance as the rookie commander who feels the pressure of his baptism by fire.”
  8. THE RESISTANCE BANKER“Dutch director Joram Lürsenfor shows us one more way in which an occupied people resisted Nazi tyranny. I love the way in which through the years such filmmakers manage to present a fresh view of WW 2 and of Nazi persecution.” (4.5 stars)
  9. DA 5 BLOODSEd urges viewers to see this 5-star direct-to-streaming film from Spike Lee about five Vietnam veterans.
  10. SEE YOU YESTERDAY—Ed writes, “This science fiction thriller by first-time director Stefon Bristol and his co-writer Fredrica Bailey boasts Spike Lee as one of its producers. With its ripped-from-the-headlines relevancy in regard to police brutality you might think it was made last week, but it actually was released a little over a year ago when another shooting of a black man by the police was in the headlines. Indeed, its genesis goes back even further when Bristol had made a short film and Spike Lee  helped him to expand it into its present feature length. With many #Black Lives Matter news clips interspersed throughout, the film seems like a mixture of Back to the Future, The Hate You Give and When They See Us.” (5 stars)





Print Friendly, PDF & Email