By David R. Ferguson
There was a time and an era in baseball when Joe DiMaggio ruled the diamond. DiMaggio was the standard for which many young boys dreamed they might one day be. Near the end of DiMaggio’s career, however, there was a Midwestern young man from the mining towns of Oklahoma, Commerce, Oklahoma to be exact, who was an up-and-coming baseball star in his own right. His father, Mutt, wanted him to stay clear of the deadly mines and that father’s dream would become truer than he might have imagined. Named after his father’s favorite baseball catcher and Hall of Fame member Mickey Cochrane, Mickey Mantle eventually would become baseball’s new icon. All that New Yorkers loved in Joe DiMaggio they would also come to love in Mickey Mantle. One era ended gracefully as another began to flower.
Dimaggio carried the Yankee torch and was now symbolically passing it on to Mickey Mantle. Several examples are found in the Bible of the passing of the torch from one generation to another, or from one individual to another. We have the leadership of the children of Israel passing from Moses to Joshua; the kingdom passing from David to his son Solomon; the prophetic mantle and vision going from Elijah to Elisha; and Paul leaving the furtherance of the gospel in the hands of Timothy all come to mind. But the greatest passing of the torch, however, occurred when the ministry of John the Baptist ended, and that of Jesus Christ began. John said of this passing of the torch, “I have been sent ahead of Him. He Who has the bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s Voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”(John 3:28-30 [NASB])
- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lakelandchurchofchrist/ or firstname.lastname@example.org