Wednesday, December 24, 2014

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

At first, Christmas and baseball seem to have nothing in common. Thinking back, maybe we got baseball cards or a new baseball glove for Christmas, but that doesn’t make the two have anything in common.

On the surface, Christmas can’t have anything in common with baseball because it doesn’t come during the baseball season. The holiday arrives around the midpoint between the end of the World Series and the date when players report for Spring Training.

And Santa, well he may be spry enough to go up and down chimneys, but with his physique, no team would rush out to sign him to a 9-figure deal. He couldn’t clear the medical release.

So why confound the two when they appear to have so little in common? Because deep down, they are connected in many ways. 

Christmas, as a holiday, is filled with hope. Once we get past the shopping, the presents, and all the rush, it really is about hope. It’s the celebration of the miraculous birth of Jesus, and reminds us of all the hope that can come with Him. Christmas is the one day where we can reflect on all that is good in us and the world, and share our joy with others. It’s the chance that our dreams can come true, and the world we wish for can be had.

Hope—it’s the feeling that what is wanted can be had. And in Christmas, more than any other time of the year, that feeling is felt. With the birth of Jesus, Christians everywhere hope that what is wanted most—peace on Earth, good will towards all men—can be had this year. From His humble beginnings, being born in a manger because the inn was full, to the glory He brought forth, Christmas is the beginning of a miraculous story.

Baseball, like Christmas, is also filled with hope. 

From the time I was little, I always knew I’d never be a basketball player. Or a football player. Or a boxer or hockey player. All those sports have specific types and physiques. All I had to do was look at my parents, and, thanks to DNA, knew that I wouldn’t be successful in those sports.

But, baseball was different. Anyone could play that game. You didn’t have to be the tallest kid to be a good hitter. You didn’t have to be the fastest kid to be a good fielder. The biggest kids in school weren’t necessarily the best baseball players. With enough practice and work, everyone could hope to become a good player and to win it all.

Today, hope is very much alive in baseball. Over the past 10 years, at least 26 of the 30 different Major League teams qualified for the postseason. Only one team has qualified for the postseason more than 3 years in a row—and that team only did it four times before sitting home for a year in October. No other sport can claim that level of parity. 

There’s a reason why New Years comes a week after Christmas rather than at any other time of year. It comes during the middle of winter, during the 12 days of Christmas, because winter is when we need hope the most. While the Earth is cold and barren, we need to be reminded of all the potential for good within all living things. Christmas gives us that hope—the hope to sustain us to spring. Spring is when the good returns, the plants return to life. And, for baseball fans, spring is when our dreams for our team renew.

On behalf of everyone at, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. May you, your family, and your friends be blessed. Thank you for making our internet home for Angels baseball your home.
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