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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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That's right: Steve Dalkowski. Who? Steve Dalkowski

One year, while playing for Stockton in the California League, he struck out 262 batters in only 170 innings. That's almost 14 batters a game! So, why have you never heard of him? Because he also walked 262 batters as well. And that was his problem: control! One sportswriter said Dalkowski could easily throw the ball through a barn door — except he couldn't get close to the door. It was the simple truth. Dalkowski once threw a one-hitter and lost the game 9-8.

The Baltimore Orioles tried hard to make Dalkowski into a major-league pitcher. For one golden stretch of 52 innings, with the Elmira Pioneers, under manager Earl Weaver, he found the range. In those 52 innings he struck out 104 and walked only 11. But Dalkowski soon reverted to his old form. He couldn't slow down and he couldn't get his fast ball over the plate. Nothing worked.

They built a target for him, using 2-by-4's, with six feet of solid wood on each side and an opening in the middle that was slightly larger than the strike zone. It seemed like a good idea, But Dalkowski demolished the frame in two days trying to hit the opening. Fast as he was — and potentially as great as he was — Steve Dalkowski never pitched an inning in the major league. But for nine seasons as a struggling minor leaguer, the little fivefoot-nine fireballer from New Britain, CT terrorized batters all the way from Washington State to Florida.

What good does it do us to say we are a Christian if we never act like it or talk like it? If we never practice what we preach we will never be what God wants us to be. Get your life under control and throw strikes!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward