Steve Lyons was a baseball player born in Tacoma, Washington. Through high school, he played baseball, was granted a partial scholarship to Oregon State, and was recruited his junior year to play in the minor leagues. He played there for three and a half years before moving up to the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox. While there, he primarily played third base and outfield, but was a utility player. He holds the distinction of playing all nine positions, although in an exhibition game. What an incredible accomplishment! It would be so difficult to play at that level, and be able to play every position so effectively that your coach would move you around to every position. His career lasted for nine seasons and he is now a broadcaster for the New England Sports Network.
He had two popular nicknames during his career. He was known for having an eccentric personality, so he was named Steven “Psycho” Lyons. He also earned another odd nickname—“Moon Man Lyons.”
This happened because during a particularly difficult game, he bunted the ball and sprinted to first base. He slid into the base head first. There was a dispute between the umpire and the pitcher regarding whether he made it to the base or not. During this argument, Lyons dropped his britches and cleaned the dirt from the inside of his trousers and shirttail. The crowd audibly gasped when he did this, which caused him to quickly pull them up realizing what he had done. He was visibly embarrassed. Beneath his uniform he was wearing sliding shorts, so this wasn’t necessarily an issue of exposure, but it clearly was something the crowd had not expected. A columnist later wrote, “No one had ever dropped his drawers on the field. Not Wally Moon. Not Blue Moon Odom. Not even Heinie Manush.” Steve “Psycho” Lyons became known as “Moon Man” Lyons for his thoughtless disrobing.
What’s amazing about this story is that within twenty-four hours, Lyons did seven live television and twenty radio interviews. Lyons later reported, “We’ve got this pitcher, Melido Perex, who earlier this month pitched a no-hitter and I’ll guarantee you he didn’t do two live television shots afterwards. I pull my pants down, and I do seven. Something’s pretty skewed toward the zany in this game.” From his moment of physical exposure, he received more media exposure than ever before.
Such is our nation. We tend to remember the wacky, the weird, and the worst in others. It’s what you will see on television and on the news. There is little ever said about the positive and the good. Yet, if you hear even a hint of bad news on someone, it is spread faster than influenza. Look through your news feed and there is nothing but negative spread through this current political campaign. It is impossible to believe good in people anymore. This isn’t because there’s nothing good to say, but because there’s nothing good that sells headlines.
If someone makes a political statement, they are vilified by those who disagree and victimized by others. While there is freedom of speech, there is little respect of opinions or open dialogue that make this freedom worth exercising.
It doesn’t matter that Lyons was a great ball player. He could be remembered as a great infielder, one who could play any position and did play every position. He was a favorite of fans who would high-five those who caught foul balls. He was an above-average player who did well in the game and made a name for himself. Unfortunately, the only name people remember now is “Moon Man” Lyons, the player who dropped his pants.As Christians, we need to be sure that we don’t treat one another this way. Paul tells us to, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2.3). Even Jesus tells us, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7.12).Do you want people to talk down about you because of some past mistake? If not, don’t do that to others.
Do you want others to treat you poorly because you messed up some area of your life, even though you do quite well in other aspects of living? If not, don’t do that to others. Dwell on the good in others instead of only that with which you disagree. Find something you love about them and make that the focus of your relationship. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 4.8-9).