One of the most vivid memories of my childhood was the night of October 25, 1987 when the Twins beat the Cardinals in Game 7 to win the World Series. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 11 years old as I sat next to my dad on the couch watching Jeff Reardon, "The Terminator," record the final three outs in the ninth to preserve a 4-2 win. The Metrodome roared with elation as the entire team hogpiled Reardon on the mound in celebration.
Today Jeff Reardon is under house arrest in Florida awaiting trial for the armed robbery of a jewelery store. It's a strange feeling to see one of my heroes fall so far. The '87 Twins were gods to me, and Reardon was part of the pantheon that included Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Frank Viola, Gary Gaetti and many others.
In a way, I feel like part of my childhood is stolen from me every time something like this happens. I don't want to know that these guys are regular people who make mistakes. I want to imagine that they are frozen in time, locked forever in that memorable season of 1987, and Bob Casey is still bellowing out his patented "Kirbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Puckett" as Kirby lines another fastball over the left field fence to the roar of the crowd.
But alas, we all know that it is not so. childhood, in so many ways, is a reminder of how empty are the things that we cherish so much and how disappointed we will be if we cling to shadows. When I was six years old I thought heaven was a neverending supply of candy, soda pop, and football cards. When I was 21, I thought heaven was a neverending supply of something different, but equally empty. Now, by the grace of God, I know that Christ is the only place that my soul will find infinite satisfaction. Everything else is candy, soda pop, and Jeff Reardon.
"The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accomandations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the ocean." --JE