Frank Pastore knew his life’s purpose early on. It was to be rich and famous. If you accumulated all the right stuff on the outside, he thought, you’d be happy and fulfilled on the inside.
For a time, he thought he was on track. He got a big contract to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds, bought a home and a Porsche, and planned to set records over the next 10 to 15 years. He was on top of the world, rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest players in the history of the game.
In fact, it was his teammate, the legendary hall of famer Johnny Bench, who told him, “Kid, don’t ever get too cocky or too arrogant because you’re always only one pitch from humility.”
Johnny’s words came true for Frank on June 4, 1984. Frank was pitching against another legendary player, Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers. In the eighth inning, Dodger Steve Sax stepped up to the plate and hit a line drive straight up the middle toward Frank’s face. He instinctively flinched to get out of the way. In that split second, his elbow moved directly into the path of a baseball clocked at 134 miles an hour.
The elbow of his pitching arm shattered.
So did his dreams.
That single pitch brought Frank to his knees and into the arms of Christ. For years, Frank shared one message with anyone who would listen: every one of us is always only one pitch from humility. It could be illness, infidelity, an accident, bankruptcy – anything can happen at any time to anybody.
Our only hope is the power and the love of God that is present with us in and through our pain, confusion, and disappointment.
We’re sharing Frank’s message on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “One Pitch from Humility.” Hear how to find true happiness in a world of uncertainty on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.
Frank’s talk was recorded at a men’s conference at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California a few years before he died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 55. He isthe author of the book Shattered: Struck Down, but Not Destroyed. His wife, Gina, wrote a book after Frank’s tragic death called Picking Up My Shattered Pieces.
You may also be interested in a free online booklet we’ve written called, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family.”