Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One Last Spring for Dodgertown

It's the end of an era.

Mayor Lasorda will have one final spring under the Florida sunshine
The spring training home of the Los Angeles (and formerly Brooklyn) Dodgers is closing. For years, it has gone by the title of "Dodgertown." It is a monument to year's gone by. It's a relic of the good ol' days. But after this spring, Dodgertown is closing its doors & the Los Angeles ball club is relocating to a new & improved spring training home in Arizona.

(This is the part where you go, "Awwwwww." This is the part where movies like "Cars" have conditioned us to revolt against the idea of progress because of the tarnished glory of what is left behind...)

However, LA sports writer Bill Plaschke is glad that Dodgertown is closing its doors, and he says that it's time is coming "Not a minute too soon". Plaschke says that Dodgertown has become a relic of the past. It is no longer relevant. It has become a monument to yesteryear, but the mystique of that bygone era has not endured.

When I read this, I couldn't help but think about so many of the churches in my particular fellowship that hold on to the past. So much of the surroundings change for older folks that one of the few things they can hold onto that stays the same (and, thus, helps them feel more comfortable) is the church. And then those generations of older folks build intellectual arguments around Scripture & Restorationist pleas (e.g. "We want to be just like the 1st century church") to argue against change from tradition. And then churches become monuments instead of movements & the buildings turn into relics of a bygone era.

I had a great professor at Harding who was fond of saying, "I don't know want to be the 1st century church; I want to be the 21st century church." The past was lovely, and we should certainly respect our history. But we shouldn't re-live it, or create bubbles of existence that seek to preserve it.

As an organization, the Dodgers have struggled in part because of their desire to hold on to nostalgia to the neglect of their mission. Let's not do the same in our churches.


bob_turner said...

Best 2 Reasons Dodgertown is still relevant:

1) Uptown Grill: Downtown Vero Beach restaurant with the best key lime pie I have eaten.

2) Sonny's Barbeque: For less than $5 you can grab a great plate.

III said...

Sonny's BBQ is all over the state of Florida. It is indeed some darn fine barbeque.

Chad Billy-Steve Pknicholson said...

Allow me to flex my baseball knowledge.

The Dodger roster of last year reflects the fading glory of Dodgertown:

Jeff Kent
Nomar Garciaparra
Takashi Saito (he's 38)

while the new guys can't crack the starting lineup:

James Loney
Andre Ethier
Matt Kemp
Andy LaRoche

Plus, they just hired (washed up) Joe Torre! Okay, so Torre's not washed up, but he is old.

III said...


I'm impressed.

Although, Saito isn't really representative of the old guard. Even though he's old, he's effective. Plus, Broxton can't seem to nail down games in the 9th. And, he's almost more representative of the new wave of Japanese players.

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