On Friday, Glen Coffee, a second year running back on the San Francisco 49ers roster abruptly retired after just one season this past Friday. He claims that he is doing what The Lord has asked him to do previously, but which he was reticent to do. Some writers are claiming that he did not have a good training camp, and blah, blah, blah. It is possible his camp was not up to par for his skills, as he was working through a very tough decision. Here is a link to a recent interview with him. He was no slouch as an athlete, as described here on wikipedia.
Back in mid January, 2010 Grant Desme, a 23-year-old minor league outfielder in Oakland's system, also retired from professional sport to follow a calling, but this time into the Catholic priesthood.
The story was first reported by Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. Desme was ranked the A's eighth-best prospect by Baseball America after hitting .288 with 31 home runs and 89 RBIs in A ball in 2009 and he was just named MVP of the Arizona Fall League.
Said Desme on a Friday afternoon conference call when announcing his retirement from pro sport:
"I'm doing well in baseball. But I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. Baseball is a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more. It took awhile to trust that and open up to it and aim full steam toward him ... I love the game, but I'm going to aspire to higher things."Desme spoke with Baseball America last year about baseball being only "a game" and we wish him success on his spiritual path. In a selfish age when churches struggle to recruit young male Americans, his sacrifice of possible riches is a very admirable thing.Here is what Deacon Greg Kandra had to say about Grant Desme back in January.
Both of these young men are Ordinary Heroes, in passing on the lures of the world, to find out what God is calling them to. That is far more inspirational to me than Chris Bosh and James Lebron jumping from the basketball clubs that drafted them to the Miami Heat to try and form an unbeatable combination. Messrs. Coffee and Desme are leaving that world for peace and eternal security, which can only be found in submitting to God's will for your life.
It is difficult for an elite athlete to pass up riches for something of the heart, and many will look at Messrs. Coffee and Desme and say they were not in the same league as the superstars I mentioned above. With that I concur, but their league impresses me more than King James and the former CB4's world, though I will still enjoy watching King James, CB4 and D Wade play.
I look forward to hearing of the lives of Glen Coffee and Grant Desme. They will do simple things that will make the world a better place because of their faith in their Lord and Saviour.