The Defining Moment

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#519: “The Defining Moment”
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40: Out of Control
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Luke 22:26
26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

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The Defining Moment
“The Defining Moment” is episode #519 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on May 31, 2003.


After a disappointment in the last inning of a game, Marvin Washington looks to his cousin, Xavier, to show him how to be a hero.


In the City League baseball game the Odyssey Panthers are playing the Odenton Barons. After being so close to winning their first game of the season, Marvin misses the fly ball that leads the Barons to victory. Marvin disappears to his room and his dad finds him hiding under his bed. When Marvin mentions he wants to quit, his dad reminds him of the story of Gary Shepard. The famous pitcher for the Braves had one bad game and let it ruin his entire baseball career. His dad reminds Marvin that it was only a Little League game and there were only parents watching, while Gary Shepard had millions of people watching.

There is a game the next day. Marvin tells his dad that he doesn’t feel well so he won’t have to play in the game. His dad agrees to let him stay home and Xavier decides to stay with him. Xavier tells Marvin that he can be the hero of the team, he just has to practice. During the next game, Marvin is last at bat with the chance to win the game for the team.

After practicing, Marvin feels confident in hitting, but his dad, also the coach, decides to put in a pinch hitter, instead. They still lost the game and Marvin is left disappointed. His dad questions if he did the right thing.

In the final game of the season, Marvin’s dad doesn’t let him start. He tells Xavier that Marvin can be a hero in his own way.

At the end of the game, one of the batters is hit with the pitch and Marvin is chosen to run the bases for him. Marvin says he wants to pinch hit for the last batter so he can win the game, but his dad says he needs him for his running ability. Marvin slides into second base, breaking up a double play. The last batter, Ashley Jenkins, hits a home run to win the game for the team. Marvin comes to realize that he’s still a hero because he helped to make Ashley’s home run possible.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why does Marvin want to quit the baseball team?
  2. After he’s been practicing in the backyard, what happens when Marvin is the last batter in the game?
  3. The hero isn’t always the home-run hitter. We can be a hero by making sacrifices and helping out other people. What are ways that you can serve others?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Ashley Jenkins Brice Keltner
Ed Washington Mark Christopher Lawrence
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Marvin Washington Jordan Calloway
Max Hampton Jeffrey Noah
Umpire Mark Christopher Lawrence
Xavier Washington Niles Calloway

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Elaine Washington Xavier Washington





Xavier Washington: You have a weird family, Uncle Ed. I'm getting a sandwich.

Ed Washington: Do you know where you are, Max?
Max Hampton: On the ground?
Ed Washington: I mean what park.
Max Hampton: Yellowstone?

Marvin: There's not gonna be a next game. I'm quitting.
Ed: That's too bad. I need a right-fielder. Richville's got a lot of lefties. Could be a lot of balls going to right.
Marvin: Put Joey out there. He can catch better than me.
Ed: But Joey's my left fielder.
Marvin: Then put a porpoise in right field!

Ed: Dinner should be ready in about half an hour. And I'm not sliding under the bed. Goodness knows how long it would stay here!