Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Uppity: My Untold Story About the Games People Play by Bill White with Gordon Dillow. Grand Central Publishing. 309 pages. 2011 

I decided to read this book after watching the History Channel Documentary After Jackie, which featured Bill White, Bob Gibson and Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals. White had an incredible career in baseball. He played first base the New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1956 to 1969, winning six Gold Glove Awards, and was selected to the All-Star Game five times. After his playing days, he had a second career in the media, including serving as an announcer on New York Yankees games on radio and television from 1971 to 1989. Then, from 1989 to 1994 he served as President of Major League Baseball’s National League. In 2020, White was elected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
White was born in Paxton, Florida, near the Florida-Alabama border, in 1934. His mother was only 16. His father left town shortly after White was born and played no role in his upbringing or his life. In 1937, White and his mother boarded a train to Warren, Ohio, which he has always considered home.
White was an honor student and graduated second in his high school class of 120 students in 1952. However, until the day his mother died in 2001, despite all his accomplishments in professional baseball and beyond, his mother never quite forgave him for not finishing college.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper

He writes of encountering racism while playing minor league baseball. He was called “the n-word” for the first time in his first road game with the Danville Leafs, based in Danville, Virginia. He was the only black player in the entire Carolina League. The baseball stadium was the only place in Danville where White was allowed to interact with his white teammates. He writes that for a black man in the South, minor league baseball was a lonely place to work. The five months he spent playing in the Carolina League was probably the worst time of his life, a time of loneliness, frustration, and rage.
He played his first game in the major leagues on May 7, 1956, against the Cardinals in St. Louis, hitting a home run in his first at bat.
He writes about Willie Mays (who wrote the “Foreword” to the book), being a mentor to him.
White was then drafted into the United States Army and missed a season and a half. When he returned to the Giants, Orlando Cepeda had replaced him at first base. White was then traded to the Cardinals. White writes that the move would eventually turn out to be one of the best moves of his life.
He writes of the racism in St. Petersburg, Florida during Spring Training, which was addressed at length in the After Jackie documentary.
His writes of getting his own show in 1965, The Bill White Show, a five-minute segment that aired on Saturday afternoons before Cardinals’ home games.
White would be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies following the 1965 season. He would play three seasons for the Phillies. He would retire as a player after the 1969 season.
He then began his career as a Yankees broadcaster, working with Phil Rizzuto. White writes that the years he spent with Rizzuto were some of the best of his life. He would leave broadcasting in 1989 after being named President of the National League.
He writes of his divorce from his wife Mildred, indicating that she was a good wife and mother to their five children, but that they had grown apart over the years.
White writes of his positive relationship with Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti and his strained relationship with Commissioner Fay Vincent. He writes of his relationships with umpires and owners, and at length about expanding the number of teams in the National League. He states that guiding the National League through the expansion was his biggest accomplishment as National League President.
After thirteen years as a player, eighteen years as a broadcaster, and five years as National League president, White walked away from baseball. He rarely goes to games anymore, indicating that baseball is not his game anymore. He writes that to him it has become more of an entertainment than a competition.
Throughout this excellent book – which contains some adult language – White openly shares his opinions, which I found refreshing.

  • How to Build a Theological Library on a Budget. Joe Carter offers tips on building a library when you lack both money and shelf space.
  • Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold. My wife Tammy has published a book about HOW to study the Bible. The book is available on Amazon in both a Kindle and paperback edition. She writes “Maybe you’ve read the Bible but want to dig deeper and know God and know yourself better. Throughout the book I use the analogy of making a quilt to show how the Bible is telling one big story about what God is doing in the world through Christ. Quilting takes much patience and precision, just like studying the Bible, but the end result is well worth it.

BOOK CLUB – Won’t you read along with us?

Providence by John Piper

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.
You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.
Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
This week we look at Chapter 44: The Triumph of Missions and the Coming of Christ. Here are a few helpful quotes for the chapter:

  • The mission to gather his sheep—the children of God—from all the nations is as sure as the promise and the purchase and the power of Jesus. It is going to happen.
  • This is the paradoxical path on which we walk toward the great end and the great beginning of the second coming of Christ. “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10). Weeping for all suffering, especially eternal suffering (Rom. 12:15). Yet always rejoicing in hope (Rom. 5:2; 12:12).

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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