Wycliffe College, Toronto, welcomed R.A. Dickey, pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, to its commencement ceremonies on Monday.
Dickey received an honorary doctorate in sacred letters. Excerpts from Dickey’s speech, published by The Toronto Star:
I got to thank Principal [George] Sumner in particular for his baseball metaphors, which made me feel right at home. I did learn that he’s a Boston Red Sox fan (boos from crowd). I’m sorry, I’ve outed ya. I’m also pleased to say I’m not sorry for disappointing you this weekend (cheers from crowd). I gotta say the way the Blue Jays have been playing early on this year, it’s nice to come to a place that abounds with grace (laughs).
Within the framework and the culture of baseball to live a Christian life is not always easy. … It’s a very dysfunctional lifestyle and a real challenge to try to live a life that you can glorify God in. I’m called to be a father to my children. Thank God for Skype and for iChat, which has enabled me to be a parent from a long distance. But we have to work hard at it. Within the culture of baseball I am a minority. Within the clubhouse we’re usually looking at, maybe, five or six believers. So it can be a real challenge.
I share that with you to speak about the importance of community. Community has made a big difference in my life at home. I’ve surrounded myself with people that I know I can trust, and I know will love me well, and when I say love me well that means telling the truth. So I also encourage you as you go forth today to invite people into your life that you know and trust to be able to pour into you. And it’s not always pretty, right? Growth is painful sometimes. I know it has been for me. But at the end I think the reward is that you develop a more intimate relationship with a living God.