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Baseball Fan Changes Seats, Nabs Four Foul Balls

Sometimes it helps to be in the right place at the right time with the right attitude of readiness. That's what happened to Greg Van Niel.

On July 14th, 2013, Mr. Van Niel, a season-ticket holder for Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians, gave up his regular seats for one game at Progressive Field. Van Niel took advantage of a season-ticket exchange, which landed him, his brother, and his two nephews in Section 160 down the third-base line.

Throughout his life as a diehard baseball fan Van Niel had never caught a foul ball. But after changing seats on July 14th and showing up in Section 160, he snagged not one, not two, not three, but an amazing four foul balls. Just to give some perspective, according to ESPN's Stats & Information, the odds of catching one foul ball in a pro baseball game are about a thousand to one. The odds of one person catching four foul balls in the same game are approximately a trillion to one.

Van Niel offered the following explanation: "Three of them were catches and one was a ball I picked up off the ground. The third one … I think I ended up sprawled across a few rows, and I got some cheese on myself. But the other ones were just a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Faithfulness—being in the right place with the right attitude is most of the battle in the Christian life; (2) Change—"Changing seats" can become a metaphor for change in our spiritual lives. Are you willing to let God "change your seats" and open you up to new possibilities?

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