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Somebody was thinking

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan over the age of 50, you might recognize the name Rich Rollins. Although he never made an All-Star squad, we remember him as a solid third baseman for the Twins during the 1960s.

Some years ago, Rich received a phone call from a Fargo, N.D., sportswriter. The reporter wanted to know if the retired major leaguer remembered signing a ball for an elderly fan while on a speaking tour with Twins catcher Earl Battey following the 1963 season.

Rollins laughed. "If it's the ball I think it is, I sure do!"

He recalled an older gentleman asking the young infielder to sign his baseball. Rich immediately noticed the stitching on the ball was quite old. On the sweet spot, he was amazed to see two other ballplayers had already autographed it: Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

At the time, Babe Ruth held the major league record for homeruns—714. Two years earlier, Roger Maris had homered 61 times—also a record that has since been broken.

Rich Rollins was dumbfounded at the old fan's request. "Sir, I can't sign this ball for you. It really belongs in Cooperstown."

The aged Yankee fan insisted. He had met Babe Ruth personally in 1928 and Maris in 1962. "Mr. Rollins, I listen to the Twins all of the time. You are my favorite player. Would you please sign it?"

Rich Rollins signed it.

Now, some 40 years later, the sportswriter was calling Rich to let him know that the grandchildren of the elderly gentleman had decided to sell the baseball.

"It's a shame my name has to be on a ball with two of the greatest men to have ever played the game," Rollins reflected. "They won't get near as much money for it now."

"That's why I called you," the sportswriter said. "The grandson insisted on having your name professionally erased!"

Rich Rollins roared with laughter. "Somebody was thinking!"

A lesser man might have reacted in anger. Many professional athletes might have felt insulted. Rich Rollins, to this day, will tell you that having your name removed from a baseball is pretty insignificant when compared to having your name removed from the Lamb's Book of Life.

Revelation 20:15 declares, "If anyone's name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

The Bible tells us that once your name is written in that book, it cannot be erased. How do you know if your name is written there? The apostle Peter says in Acts 2:38: "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

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