This is part 4 in my series about Christian baseball players sharing their faith. Now, because the 2 major leagues are not balanced, there needs to be 1 week when I focus on 2 teams from the National League. This is that week. Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals step into my focus.
First up we have the Colorado Rockies.
Confession time… I love trivia!! I think it is cool to see the random connections that are out there. Click here and scroll down to the “personal life” part
to see a really cool, random connection between Rockies OF, Seth Smith – and his Rockies Teammate Todd Helton, and the Manning brothers of NFL fame.
Now, more to the point of this series, Seth Smith is a Christ-follower. Click on his picture to read more about his faith and how it helps him face the trials and temptations that fame can bring
But Christian faith runs deeper than just the players on the team.
Their CEO (Charlie Monfort) is a Christian. You can read/hear his story here. Their General Manager Dan O’Dowd also is a believer who uses his faith to guide the decisions he makes about team personel. Players do not need to be Christ-followers to play for the Rockies, but he does seek players will integrity and moral strength (men of good character) to build his roster. In the past, this has been rewarded by seeing players taking a stand in the club house to reduce or eliminate things like obsene music and pornographic magazines
The Rockies also have yearly “Faith Days” at Coors Field. The way that these days work in baseball is after a game is played,there is a Christian music concert and a player or two will share a challenge or tell part of his faith story. There is an organization called Third Coast Sports who organize these events with various professional and minor league sports, Here is their website.
The other story for the day is that of Adam Wainright, of the St. Louis Cardinals. He made a name for himself in his rookie season of 2006.
He hit the first pitch he saw for a homerun – this is a rare enough feat but even moreso for a pitcher.
He made the team out of spring training and became the closer when an injury ro their regular closer gave that role to him.
Well, as a rookie, he wound up as the pitcher who was on the mound for the final outs of the clinching games of the National League Divisional Series, the National League Championship Series, and the World Series. He played a big role in helping the Cards win the championship.
The next year, he moved into the starting rotation, where he continued to excel, even landing on a video game cover. Last year, he finished 2nd in the Cy Young Award voting, given to the best pitcher in each league.
This year, he was expected to compete for the award again, and lead his team back to the playoffs. But, it was not to be. In his first batting practice throwing session, he felt discomfort in his arm. it turned out to be something serious. He had major surgery to deal with the issue which ended his season, and may delay the start of next year for him. Recovery time is generally 12-15 months. It is a major injury and brings in some light shades of doubt about whether he will return to his star form.
I recently read a couple of blog posts written by Adam Wainright. He talks first on the struggle of dealing with this injury, and then on the peace that he now feels. He knows that even though it is hard, that God can ultimately bring about good from this challenge. Check it out by following this link.
It is refreshing to hear firsthand about how God is using this time to challenge Adam and draw him closer. It can be hard to remember, but it is wonderful to think that God cares more about our hearts and our relationship with him then our worldly success. In the end, God’s plan is always best, and the lessons and equipping we recieve, God can use down the road. The post is in his own words and there is a challenge for us all to take. Thanks Adam for sharing from your heart about what God is doing and teaching you.
Again, let me know what you think, and if you have any more cool stories that you want to share about athletes living their faith out for all to see.