Nathan Rueckert

Posted on May 04 2022

G R I P P E D.
by nathan rueckert

Wood bats are often taped by ballplayers to give them a better grip on the handle. The tape gives them more confidence to swing exactly how they were taught. For some bats, the tape also can prevent the wood bat grains from splintering or flaking to protect the longevity of the bat.

When I received our latest batch of pocket crosses this week from our master craftsmen in Texas, I was blown away at the beauty of these crosses that were cut with the bat tape still on the handles. I counted them all - there were 31, which was also my uniform number at Truman State many moons ago when I was a southpaw relief pitcher for the Bulldogs.

With our pocket heart & cross product launch being tomorrow, these got me reflecting on bigger questions:

- What am I gripping?
- What am I holding on to?

For so long, my identity was wrapped up in being a ballplayer. If I’m honest, I held onto that identity too tightly.

Because when your sense of worth is based on the circumstances around you, what happens when that identity is stripped away? When the games are over; when the road trips are done; when the sounds and smells of the game are a distant memory?

I don’t know if you have wrestled with this, but I have. And what helped me was a realization that my identity is much less about what I do…and so much more about whose I am.

It’s funny. You spend your whole life gripping something with all your might…only to find out that you’re the one being gripped. I think Jim Bouton had a similar quote about the game of baseball.

For me, what I’ve come to realize is that my identity is gripped by Jesus. And I’m so thankful for the opportunity and this baseball platform that I’ve been given to reflect his love in unique and meaningful ways.

We launched these 31 crosses on Friday, 4/29 for $31.31 each.  The entire batch sold out in 6 minutes.  If you’d like to know when the next batch goes live, be sure to subscribe to our email list to be the first to know. 

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