Eddie Perez was an incredible ballplayer. He could hit a single to advance runners or hit grand slams to clear the bases. More impressive than his hitting, though, was his catching. He was the NLCS MVP in 1999. Greg Maddux was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, and Perez caught more games for Maddux than any other catcher. His catching allowed Maddux to consistently post low ERAs. In September of 1995, when Eddie was called up to the big leagues, catchers O’Brien and Lopez and coach Pat Corrales told him, “This guy [Maddux] is smart. Whatever he wants to do, let him do it.” Eddie listened, and about forty days later, he was the owner of a World Series Championship ring. He was behind the plate learning from Maddux for 121 career games. He knelt behind home plate for ten years in the majors, supporting Hall of Fame pitchers and throwing out Hall of Fame opposing team runners.
Before a recent Atlanta Braves game, I watched Bullpen Coach Eddie Perez warming up with Christian Bethancourt. I can imagine the advice that Perez can offer to Bethancourt, who was born the year Perez was beginning his fifth year in the minor leagues. Perez is now the teacher, because he listened and learned.
The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. (The words of Jesus as recorded by Luke.)
There are people who have knelt before Jesus much longer than we have. We have the opportunity to catch what they know. We have the opportunity to listen and learn, and in time, be like our Teacher.