David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
March 5, 2007

On Friday, Loretta and I will be flying to Phoenix. She is so excited (not really, but she should be), as we have tickets for three Texas Rangers Spring Training games on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I am also looking forward to worshipping with my friend, Dan Yeary, at North Phoenix Baptist Church next Sunday. I have made a promise to myself to go to Spring Training every year I am able for the rest of my life!!!

I love baseball. To be honest, that is an understatement. I adore baseball, because it ties together so many memories with both my Dad and my sons.

My Dad, Roy Currie, lived in Paint Rock all his life (1908-1989). But he lived bigger than Paint Rock. He went to New York and saw the Yankees play. He and his twin brother, Floy, went to Fort Worth to watch the great players in the Negro Leagues play (how sad to even have to type that, for years, Black Americans—who died in our wars and paid their taxes—were not allowed to play major league baseball).

I grew up knowing who all of the great old‑time players were—not just Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson (the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame), but also Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg, Rogers Hornsby (born in Winters, Texas; and, by the way, do you know that Greg Maddux, a future Hall of Famer, was born in San Angelo?), Tris Speaker, Lou Gehrig, and Mordecai “Three‑Fingered” Brown—who played for not only the Cubs and Cardinals, but also for the Federal League’s Brooklyn Tip-Tops (1914), St. Louis Terriers (1914), and Chicago Whales (1915), which I doubt that most fans today know ever existed.


In 1976, my Dad and I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. My sons and my nephew Craig went with me in 1996, and Loretta went with me later, as well. I love going there. Only the greatest of the greatest make it into the Hall of Fame. Of the thousands who have played baseball, only 280 are in the Hall of Fame, and 47 of those are executives, managers, and umpires.

I go there and read Mickey Mantle’s plaque and cry, just as I do looking at Sandy Koufax’s plaque or Roy Campanella’s or Pee Wee Reese’s, because my sister and Uncle Willard loved the Dodgers, and I love my sister Carolyn and loved Uncle Willard, who taught me how to swim and drive and was with me when I shot my first turkey.

Several years ago, the boys (including Craig, of course) and I went to Spring Training in Florida. That trip is a special memory for me. It is so relaxing to sit in the small stadiums and see the players up close (or even sit out in the outfield grass). While there, I got great pictures of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio of the Astros (two future Hall of Famers) up close and personal.

So I am looking forward to making more memories this week in Arizona.

Which, I suppose, leaves you wondering, “okay, David loves baseball, but what does it have to do with TBC or Jesus?”


Well, I’m not really sure, except that for many of us, other wonderful memories we have are when we were baptized, praying with our parents (the last time Dad and I prayed together out loud was in a trailer at the ranch after watching the 1974 All‑Star game together, and I remember it well), and other family times tied to our faith shared with our families.

For me, as I reflect on these memories, I think about how important it is to me to preserve the true Baptist heritage in America and around the world (thus, my excitement over the New Baptist Covenant meeting in Atlanta in January 2008). I think about being baptized in the river on Uncle Bill’s place with several cousins—my extended family—singing “Shall We Gather at the River” under the big pecan trees.

I think about how I want my boys to love Jesus and being Baptist, as well as baseball, and pass it on to my grandchildren when they are born. I want them to be leaders in being true Baptists for years to come, and I want them to go to Spring Training when they are retired (or nearly retired, like me), as well as Cooperstown.

I want the memories to keep growing so that they can feel as close to me when I’m gone as I do to my Dad and Uncle Floy and Uncle Willard as I write this column. And I will want them to smile at the memory.