by Joey Davis
Steve Lyons will always be remembered as "the player who dropped his pants." He could be remembered as a utility infielder for the Chicago White Sox who performed with outstanding skill although possessing merely average ability.
But he won't. He'll always be remembered as the player who dropped his pants in front of over 20,000 people on July 16, 1990.
The White Sox were playing the Tigers in Detroit when Lyons bunted and raced down first baseline. He knew it was going to be close, so he dived at the bag... Safe! The Tigers' first baseman disagreed and argued with the umpire. Lyons stepped into the middle of the argument to state his case and got so caught up in the fray, that when he felt a trickle of dirt inside his pants...well, he just dropped them right there and dusted himself off. Fortunately, he was wearing sliding pants underneath and what could have been X rated was really only PG.
Now you can imagine all the jokes that got started about this. One writer even joked that "not even Wally Moon or even Heinie Manush" ever dropped their drawers on the field. Steve Lyons' television exposure (pun intended) was never so great.
I don't know Steve Lyons. I'm not a White Sox fan. I'm usually not appreciative of pantless men. But, in my book, anyone with the guts to dive into first base deserves a standing ovation. How many folks do you see roaring down "Life's baselines" more concerned about doing their best than saving, what Steve Lyons dusted off? How often do you see people dive into anything? Rarely!!!
When we do see a courageous human throwing caution to the wind with fearless faith...they deserve attention.
Here's to the Steve Lyons' of the world, the Miracles, a singing group out of Memphis made up entirely of the mentally challenged and stout hearted. I dare you to listen to them and still feel sorry for yourself the woman whose husband left her with kids to feed and bills to pay, 'who worships every Lord's day and claims that she was never closer to God, the grandparents who came out of retirement to raise the children that their children couldn't raise...the girl who kept her baby when everyone told her to abort it. Here's to all of you lovers of life who stand on first base because you paid the price to get there.
So what if you forgot about pleasing the crowd for a few moments and maybe even got caught with your pants down, at least you had the courage to "go for it"...most of us aren't even in your league.
May 7, 1995
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