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Sports and the power of integrity

From the May 2002 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I went to a big school, and we played a lot of college baseball games every year. Toward the middle of one season, we had a game with a well-known rival school in California. My first time at bat, I hit the ball hard. Just before my second at-bat, one of my friends who was watching the game from the stands motioned for me to come over because he had something to tell me.

My friend had been sitting near the other team's dugout and had overheard their manager tell his pitcher to hit me with the ball the next time I came up to bat. He hoped I would be intimidated and not play well.

I was pretty loose as I stepped into the batter's box. The first pitch was a fastball right behind my shoulder, but I hit the dirt, and it missed me. The next pitch was right at me. It missed me, too, but the umpire thought it had just barely struck me. I could have gone along with him, but I looked him right in the eye and told him that in all honesty it hadn't. I couldn't look at my team or my coach, because I knew they would be mad at me for not taking advantage, even though it would have been unethical.

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