Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ode to Byron Nelson

The world lost one of its really special people yesterday with the passing of Byron Nelson. I wrote a little bit about him back in May before his Dallas tournament, but want to reflect on his legacy again.

There are a handful of sports records that may never be broken. One could make a good argument for Nolan Ryan's 7 no-hitters, and maybe his career strikeouts. My guess is Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak is pretty safe. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points in one game used to seem untouchable -- until Kobe ("Never Seen a Shot I Want Take") Bryant came along. But still, he is 30 points away in his best game. Maybe Jerry Rice's career touchdowns?

One record that I can't see ever being broken is Byron's 11 straight PGA wins in 1945. Tiger got to 5 this year, and that was unbelievable! But he wasn't even half way. Interesting, Byron lost in the 12th tournament, and then went on another streak. He went on to win 18 tournaments that year!

But his greatest achievement is the way in which his life was lived. Everyone who knew him knew what his #1 priority in life was -- to go to heaven. He was a man who lived a life of faith without being obnoxious about it. I have never heard or read one negative word about him. He has been adored be men from Arnold Palmer to Ben Crenshaw to Tiger Woods.

In Churches of Christ, we have had some wonderful celebrities to represent us: Sonny James, Loretta Lynn, Sen. John Cornyn, Randy Travis, Gene Stallings, David Robinson. But Byron Nelson has truly been a great ambassador. And more importantly, he has been an ambassador for Christ.

May the Lord raise up more like Byron Nelson. And I congratulate him for obtaining his goal. He's now at home with the Lord.

1 comment:

Beverly Ross said...

His life is such a sweet story! What a legacy of faith!