If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably heard of Sid Bream. If you’re not a baseball fan, you still may have heard of Sid.
Bream played for four teams in his 11 year career between 1983 and 1994. Never a fast runner, Bream’s mobility was affected by five knee surgeries to the point that he was one of the slowest runners in all of baseball.
Yet Sid is most remembered for baserunning that was defined by one moment: The Slide.
When Sid Slid
On October 14, 1992, Sid was playing for the Atlanta Braves. In the National League Championship series against Pittsburth (Bream’s former team), he capped a Braves comeback after trailing 2-0, when he scored the winning run from second base in the bottom of the 9th inning. The victory sent the Braves to the World Series.
Fair or unfair, that one moment has defined Sid’s career. It’s been named one of the greatest moments in baseball history, and will be forever etched in the memory of Braves fans.
The circumstances that led to that dramatic moment are interesting. Going to the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-0, the Braves rallied and Bream drew a walk, makinghim the potential winning run at first base.
Most baseball experts would claim that the dreadfully slow, gimpy Bream should have been replaced by a faster runner. In fact, this oversight was one of the few mistakes Braves manager Bobby Cox made.
Sid tells his story of what led to the moment When Sid Slid:
The Slide Becomes a Platform
To this day, so many years later, Sid signs thousands of photos of that slide each year, inscribing each with a favorite scripture verse.
And he continues to tell the story of that moment with pride and humility. He realizes the platform he has been given, and is making the most of it.
He believes that he would not be remembered had it not been for that play.
“There’s no doubt in my mind. There are a lot of players who have played since the time that I was in baseball, and you don’t remember a whole lot of them. You’re hoping to have some kind of a remembrance, whether it’s an all-star performance or a World Series performance, or something like a Kirk Gibson, a Bobby Thomson or a Bill Mazeroski, or something to that degree. Fortunately for me, I didn’t do the difficult part. It was Francisco Cabrera. He did the tough part. All I did was have to run. I’m grateful. I’m thankful to the Lord that he allowed it to happen. With my speed at that time, anybody who was on the bench, pitcher or not, probably could have been in the dugout by the time I got to home plate. But Bobby Cox decided to leave me out there. There are people who say there was nobody on the bench, but there were pitchers on the bench. I don’t understand other than the fact that God had all that worked out. He gave me that opportunity and I’m thankful for it. Obviously, that play, along with my faith, has created a platform for me to be able to go out and do some public speaking.”
What It Means to Christian Radio
I’ve come to know Sid over the past few years through the Atlanta Braves fantasy camp each January. He’s the model of integrity, positive reinforcement and leadership. And he’s influencing thousands every year by embracing the opportunities he has been given.
There are lessons here for air personalities In Christian radio. One of the biggest misconceptions we make in Christian broadcasting is minimizing the role of the air talent.
Managers and owners tell their talent that they should put all the emphasis on their audience, that the radio station is “not about you” and discourage personalities from sharing their lives in a way that calls attention to themselves. Some personalities have even told me their PD or manager have told them that they “just aren’t important. You’re only here to play the music and push forward the station’s ministry.”
How short-sighted. And how sad.
Your audience has a passion for those personalities. They want to feel connected, and they connect with people, not radio formative. They’re as much of a hero to your listeners as Sid is to baseball fans like me. Hiding those gifts is ignoring the power of the platform you have been given.
But Aren’t We to Be Humble?
It’s a false humility. Air personalities with the gift of communicating with listeners on an emotional level should be encouraged to use their platform boldly and with pride.
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.
Obviously talent must be trained. They should be nurtured, encouraged and developed. But make no mistake: Radio listeners connect to the people on the air through their stories and relatable content. They may love your music and your purpose. But air talent is what separates good stations from special stations that affect lives in a deep, meaningful way.
One play transformed Sid Bream from a very good baseball player to a legend that will be forever famous. He recognizes that gift, embraces the fame and uses the platform for the purpose to which he is called.
To learn more about Sid Bream, his ministry visit we.sidbream.com
Tracy Johnson is President and CEO of the Tracy Johnson Media Group, offering programming & promotion consultation, talent coaching & development and digital strategy consulting. Get more information at www.tjohnsonmediagroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.