09 Jun More than a President: Nyquist the Umpire
Seventh inning stretch: Moody Board of Trustees member Jerry Jenkins, Timothy Group President Pat McLaughlin, and President Paul Nyquist at a Little League ballgame.
On a hot July day several years ago Timothy Group President Pat McLaughlin needed a partner to help him umpire a double header of the Near West Little League in Chicago. When Moody President Paul Nyquist called and joked that he was going to come to the game to “harass” him, McLaughlin turned the tables and told him to come dressed in gray slacks and black shoes; McLaughlin would supply the ump shirt and hat. Nyquist bravely showed up. “He did an incredible job on the bases,” McLaughlin recalls. “He knows baseball!”
McLaughlin, who consults with Moody’s fundraising, sent a photo of Nyquist in his baseball gear to the Moody Board of Trustees with this message: “Your president can preach, teach, lead, raise money, and now he even umpires.” Jerry Jenkins ’67-’68, the then board chair, shot back a text and indicated he was jealous. “Of what?” McLaughlin asked. Jenkins wanted to umpire with them, so McLaughlin ordered shirts and caps, and the rest is history.
In 2015 Jim Elliott ’83, vice president of Stewardship, also joined them to ump a game. “All three of my crew-Dr. Nyquist, Mr. Jenkins, and Mr. Elliott-have done an excellent job,” McLaughlin says. The past two years he even got Nyquist to work “the dish” (home plate).
“It’s a privilege to serve the kids this way,” Jenkins says. “This is a challenged neighborhood with few fathers involved. We lead the kids in prayer before the games and try to encourage and teach them as we officiate. They seem to get a kick out of having ‘real’ umpires make their games feel like a big deal. But the truth is, Pat is the only real umpire.”
Source: Moody Alumni News, Winter 2016