Wayne Rout was a young Pittsburgh Pirate fan in 1960, and the example of Pirate pitcher Vernon Law caught his attention and curiosity.
This past weekend, in a column, (read it here) citing Law's impressions of the Houston Astros' World Series win over the Los Angles Dodgers, it brought back memories for Rout, who now lives in El Paso, Texas. It was his interest in Law that brought him to examine the Mormon faith.
"It was a super article for me," Rout shared in an email. "In 1960 I was a high school senior. I probably was the only Pirate fan in my county (Indiana) so that World Series has always been special to me. At my country school, we always brought in a TV for the study hall each year during the series. In addition to reading anything I could get on the Pirates, I commonly sat in the family car to listen to Bob Prince do the night games on KDKA. I will never forget seeing Yogi Berra standing near the wall watching the ball go over the wall to end the game.No one gave the Pirates a shot, but I never gave up."
"I read all I could get about each player. Vernon Law was a favorite. I was not LDS, but I took note of what writers said about his character and values. It caused me some interest in the (LDS) Church, and, along with other things, it caused me to contact the Church for information.
"A couple of years later, I was baptized, married in [an LDS] temple. I always wanted to contact Vernon Law to let him know about the power of his example. I wonder if you could share his postal address so I could send him and update I wrote for him decades ago? I may have joined the Church without him, but I do know if he had not set a good example I would all likely have never looked into the Church."
Well, Wayne, I'll post this and get word to Vernon, who lives in Provo and is frequent icon around town. He hasn't changed a bit. He is humble, kind and a great example of what a man should be.