“As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:20
You may remember the old children’s song, Dem Bones…“The toe bone connected to the heel bone. The heel bone connected to the foot bone…” Sometimes we don’t realize how much all the body parts are dependent on one another to make our whole body function properly and effectively. I want to share a story about Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean (January 16, 1910 – July 17, 1974), also known as Jerome Herman Dean. He was an American professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Browns. A brash and colorful personality, Dean was one of the few National League pitchers to win 30 games in one season. After his playing career, he became a popular television sports commentator. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. Dean was best known for leading the 1934 “Gashouse Gang” St. Louis team. He had a 30–7 record with a 2.66 ERA during the regular season. His brother, Paul, was also on the roster, and was nicknamed “Daffy”, although this was usually only done for press consumption.
Dizzy liked to brag about his prowess and make public predictions. In 1934, Dizzy predicted, “Me an’ Paul are gonna win 45 games. On September 21, Diz pitched no-hit ball for eight innings against the Brooklyn Dodgers, finishing with a three-hit shutout in the first game of a doubleheader, his 27th win of the season. Paul then threw a no-hitter in the nightcap, to win his 18th, matching the 45 that Diz had predicted. “Gee, Paul”, Diz was heard to say in the locker room afterward, “if I’d a-known you was gonna throw a no-hitter, I’d a-throw’ed one too!” Diz finished with 30 wins, the only NL pitcher to do so in the post-1920 live-ball era, and Paul finished with 19, for a total of 49. He also bet he could strike out Vince DiMaggio four times in one game. He struck him out his first three at-bats, but when DiMaggio hit a popup behind the plate at his fourth, Dean screamed at his catcher, “Drop it!, Drop it!” The catcher did and Dean fanned DiMaggio, winning the bet.
While pitching for the NL in the 1937 All-Star Game, Dean faced Earl Averill of the American League Cleveland Indians. Averill hit a line drive back at the mound, hitting Dean on the foot. Told that his big toe was fractured, Dean responded, “Fractured, the thing’s broken!” Coming back too soon from the injury, Dean changed his pitching motion to avoid landing as hard on his sore toe enough to affect his mechanics. As a result he hurt his arm, losing his great fastball. By 1938, Dean’s arm was largely gone.
Interesting how alike the human body and the Body of Christ are. If we are not all functioning properly, that hurts the whole Body.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:12