What I found is that this book is not really a book about baseball. You won’t find juicy tidbits of gossip about the players. There’s no recounting of deals gone sour. For the most part, there are no play-by-play retelling of games. Except for chapter 17, "The Postseason", about the Cards in the 2012 playoffs, this is really a book about baseball players and how their faith in Christ impacts their lives both on and off the field. I was disappointed at first and I really think the book would have benefited from a bit more baseball. In the end, though, I really enjoyed the book. I didn't find the book preachy but I recognize that I'm biased towards the perspective of this book.
With 2 exceptions, Rains uses a separate chapter to talk about the faith of each of 18 different members of the Cardinals' organization — almost mini-biographies. The 2 exceptions are one chapter in which he talks about 2 players and the 17th chapter in which he talks about the 2012 postseason.
There are several themes that run through the whole book, many of them in almost every chapter:
- God has a plan that may not match our plan
- God is not selecting the winners because he's more interested in the relationship (between Him and an individual and between individuals)
- Baseball is a game based on errors - you fail most of the time
- You have to understand that not every day is going to be a good day
- A believer has to be excellent in everything he does, do his best, because he's working as unto the Lord
I believe in every aspect of my life that I am called to excellence. I believe, through my faith, that I am called to high expectations....This was a good read and I recommend it. (A book has to really grab me to get a 5-star rating.)
(DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of Intentional Walk through the publisher's blogger review program, BookSneeze, in exchange for a review. I was free to write the review that I thought the book deserved.)
Run and read well, y'all,