One of the greatest experiences in the life of a professional baseball player is being selected to play in the All-Star game.
I had the honor of playing in two All-Star games. I was a member of the American League team in 1978 in only my second full year in the majors. The following year I was a member of the National League squad to become the only shortstop to be named to the All-Star game two consecutive years in different leagues.
I consider myself fortunate to have participated in the Midsummer Classic and feel blessed to have played 14 years in the big leagues.
Getting to the majors was the realization of my childhood dream. As a youngster growing up in Houston, I loved sports and was a very competitive basketball and baseball player.
In high school I received All-City honors twice in basketball and three times in baseball. In my senior year (1971), I was selected as the Student Athlete of the Year in the greater Houston area.
Following my prep career I was faced with the big decision of signing a professional baseball contract or moving on to play college ball. The Pittsburgh Pirates made me their No. 1 draft choice in "71, and I decided to enter pro ball.
Even though that decision set me on the road to a successful career in professional sports, it was not the most important decision in my life. A few years earlier I made a decision that all of us must make on the ultimate issue of life. It was a decision that had a positive impact on every area of my life, and it made me a guaranteed winner forever! Here's why.
I grew up in church and learned a lot about God, but until I came to know Him in a personal way through Jesus Christ, I never really knew Him in my heart. Without a meaningful commitment to the Lord, I couldn't experience inner peace, joy and contentment that every human searches for in their life.
So often people think money, fame and pleasure will bring them lasting joy and contentment only to find out that everything the world has to offer is nothing more than temporary happiness and a false sense of security.
I discovered that real security is found only in Jesus Christ. By putting my faith and trust in Him, I know for sure that I'll spend eternity in heaven when I die. You may ask, "How do you know that?" It's based on the truth of God's Word, the Bible.
John 3:16 says, "for God so loved the world that He gave us His Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
The Bible also says that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)