All Star Six Pack – “All-Star” players and their faith in God

Tonight, it is time for the All-Star game. It marks the middle of the baseball season and the middle of summer. The game is a showcase of talent from around the Majors. Over the past week, I have focussed on several players who are playing in tonights game. But to finish it up, I have pulled together this All-Star Six Pack of some more players whose faith in God is an important part of their game.

 

The Bruise – Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates

Harrison is playing in his second All Star game. I gave his the nickname of the Bruise because he is leading the league in, of all things, Hit by pitch with 20. He has played with the Pirates for the past 7 seasons, has played every position except catcher, first and center field. And as you can see in this video from a Pirates Faith Night, he is open about his faith in God. (starting at about the 4 minute mark)

The Fireballer Craig Kimbrel –  Boston Red Sox

Red Sox closer Craig Kimberly in his Spider Arm stance.

Pitching for his third team, Kimbrel was named to his 6th all star team. He debuted with the Braves in 2010 and won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. This year, with the Red Sox, he has been great. In fact, on May He also, according to baseball reference received votes for the MVP and Cy Young awards. 4 times he has led the league in saves. What makes him so effective, so dominant? Maybe it is his Spider Armed pre-pitch stance. Or maybe it is his fastball which this season has been largely unhittable .He even pitched an immaculate inning earlier this year (9 pitches, 3 strikeouts).  As you can read in this article, Kimbrel knows that his fastball is a gift from God. He says “God gave me the ability to throw a baseball, and I get to do it with conviction against the best in the world every night.”

The PriestCarlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals Ace Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez used to shine shoes for money to help his family make ends meet. The Red Sox were interested in him, but when he didn’t have a birth certificate and couldn’t afford to have one re-issued, they didn’t sign him. The Cardinals worked with him, got the official paperwork and signed Martinez.  He has not disappointed. He has been excellent in his time in the Majors. Interesting fact Martinez studied to enter the priesthood for 4 years. Church was an important part of his life. Still today, he is motivated to server others. He started the Tsunami Waves foundation for that purpose.

The BomberAaron Judge – New York Yankees

The Champ – Aaron Judge and the Home Run Derby Trophy

He is a Bronx Bomber and as he showed last night (and all season) he hits BOMBS, too. Aaron Judge has taken the majors by storm thus far. He hit a home run in his first Major League at bat and this year, before the 40 or so he hit in the Home Run Derby last night, he has put 30 major league pitches beyond the Home Run fence. He is gigantic at 6’7″ 282 pounds, he looks more like a football player. But he is a gentle giant who is outspoken about his faith in God on his Twitter Feed .  If you want to learn more about him, check out this article from Sports Spectrum about Judge and his love for the family that adopted him when he was one day old. He says “I feel they kind of picked me, I feel that God was the one that matched us together.’’ I have a friend who is adopted and this sounds like a conversation I once had with him. And it also  made me think of Ephesians 1.5 that says “”

The PlumberMichael Fulmer – Detroit Tigers

2016 A.L. Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer

I thought about turning this one into a feature post, but I needed one more to make the six-pack so here it is. Michael Fulmer was a rising prospect for the Mets. Then he was packaged in a deal for Yoenis Cespedes. And the deal paid off for the Tigers. Fulmer won the A.L. Rookie of the year last year, posting a 11-7 record and an era of a hair over 3. This year he is an all-star and while pitching last Sunday means he won’t play in the All-Star game, he is worthy of the spot with his work this season. He leads the league with the lowest home runs allowed per nine innings (o.5). Check out this article from Crossings church where it talks about Fuller seeking to be used by God in every community he is in in his life and how he strives to stay humble and grounded. Like we can see in This article from Sports Illustrated that talks about his off-season regimen which includes an early start, not to work out in a traditional baseball way, but rather with the physical labor demands of being a plumber. Neat story about a likable guy!

The Kid – Carlos Correia – Houston Astros

Carlos Correia is one of the youngest players in the All-Star game. He was the 2015 Rookie of the Year and is making his first All-Star game appearance this year. As you can see in this video put together for Astros Faith Night, Correia discusses his belief in God and the importance of honoring God and living by His principles. An injury showed Correia that baseball would end one day but his life of honoring and following God should never end. Check it out.

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