At Sporting Chance Press some of our authors have written about the MLB and the NFL. In our Sports and Faith Series, which covers exemplary athletes in sports and life, we also covered some saints and even pilgrimage sites. I think we worked hard to make sure our material was accurate, but when you write about things that went on years ago, you are using what we in publishing call second sources. You see we didn’t actually talk to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig for The 10 Commandments of Baseball. And Fred Merkle was long gone when Public Bonehead, Private Hero was written. Some of the football history that was covered in Pillars of the NFL and the Sports and Faith Series (Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout, Sports and Faith: More Stories of the Devoted and the Devout, Pilgrimage, and Worthwhile Struggle) were first hand accounts by the author. But much of what we were doing was sharing our authors’ personal experiences and love of sports–and faith.
In sports of course, there are people who take every last detail very seriously and others who make a living creating controversies that exist as much in their own minds as anyplace else. And today, we may live in a time of exponential diversity. This means that you can find a number of different opinions on practically any number of things and you see today’s media willing to share those opinions regardless of how illogical, baseless, or immoral they are. At the same time these ideas are advanced by any number of people who should know better. These opinions are often linked to a cause that may be good on its own, but someone attaches an illogical argument or idea to the cause because that argument or idea furthers that cause. It’s a little like the mentality of the “great” protestors 50+ years ago. If you want to further your cause throw crap at the Policemen and get them really worked up so they come back with billy-clubs and knock a few heads. It will all be on National TV and the movement will advance! If it works, regardless of what was done to advance a movement, it was deemed worth it.
In sports, we have many athletes, coaches, and owners who are good people. Some make mistakes, sometimes serious deadly mistakes, sometime just whoppers of indiscretion. But sports when accompanied by good coaching and principles (almost all have these we published a book on baseball principles), can provide huge development opportunities for kids and give them direction. But there are people who for whatever reason, do not like sports although there are endless types and varieties of sports. So among some legitimate gripes against some sports groups, teams, leagues, etc., you can always see some pure nonsense gripes that get the headlines. And sometimes it seems like almost the entire population comes to back the issue although it is baseless, inaccurate and immoral, but by so doing it assists in another legitimate cause. The problem is when people jump on too many “bad” bandwagons that advance their cause, real emotional and intellectual supports wanes. If you want to see what happens to societies where causes and principles come to be backed more and more by immoral, baseless, or wrongheaded arguments, there is trouble in “in the wings.”
I am happy to be involved these days with sports publishing and not politics, but we do spend time at Sporting Chance Press advancing the good. Celebrating the achievements of athletes who have excelled and also living exemplary lives. Many of these people are not saints, but we point out the good that they have done.
On our Sports and Faith books, in addition to sports, we include faith materials and writing by our author, Patrick McCaskey. Pat’s books in the series have a Catholic-Christian slant, so he gives a bit of witness to just how faith has worked in his own life. Folded into his personal testimony in our Pilgrimage book we discuss Marian Apparition sites that can give our readers a wonderful yet-simple overview of things that many of use learned in school long ago. In Worthwhile Struggle, we include some basic stories of saints, again to give readers an overview of their lives. We have done our best to avoid certain pitfalls and controversies that might bring out hundreds of diverse ideas. We try to keep it Catholic 101. As dark as our world appears at times, there are many good people and wonderful traditional examples of faith and the faithful that we believe are worth publishing about.