Play Ball Micah Owings and Reggie Willits!


We will take a bus ride to the minor leagues this week for our 6th installment in the Play Ball series – my look at some professional baseball players who are living out their faith in the huge, bright spotlight of professional sports.

Our stories today will talk about Reggie Willits and the trials of baseball life on the bubble, moving between the majors and the minors and the challenges that life as a baseball player can put on a marriage and a family. We will look at Micah Owings, and a change that he was asked to make and some great organizations that his family members have started.

First up, to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and Micah Owings.  

Micah has been up and down between the minors and majors for the past 4 years.  He is a pitcher by position, but is most known for his bat – unusual for a pitcher.  He has been used as a pinch hitter, and even won a Silver Slugger award in 2007 given to the best hitter at each position in the league.  (.333avg, 4 home runs)  His bat is so feared, that the Diamondbacks have tossed around the idea of turning him into a first baseman, so they can get his potent bat in the lineup more often.  Well see what happens this year.  He is currently playing for the Reno Aces (AAA minor league team). Read an article about his proficiency in the minors and his well known bat by clicking here.

Also of interest about Micah Owings, is his family, the various successes that they have had, and how they are using their success to tell others about Jesus.  Check out an article about the family by reading this article: A family’s love furthers the Christian cause from the Gainesville Times.  or click on the picture to the left to visit Micah’s website, to read his blog and connect to the organizations that his family work with.


Check out these Owings family organizations, too.
Ozone Sports Institute – Run by brother Josh, and featuring instruction by Micah and other brother Jon Mark
The Way Counseling – started by his sister Rebecca
Always Moving On – started by his sister Abi

And to the American League, Reggie Willits is an outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels organization.  Just this week, he was demoted to Salt Lake City, to play with the Bees.  This move and transition is nothing new for Reggie and his family.  They have been through a lot of transitions already.   Reggie and Amber were childhood friends, and eventually High School Sweethearts.  They got married in 2001.  But baseball  brought some challenges, Amber worked in Oklahoma, Reggie was playing out west, and they – like lots of young baseball couples – were spending large portions of time apart.  It wasn’t until 2007, that they were able to bring their family together on a more permanent basis. Throughout this time, and even now as travel and going between majors and minors creates struggles, they have decided to make sure that their priorities are all lined up correctly – God, family and then baseball.  God promises this in Matthew 6.  If we seek the Kingdom of God, and live to honor Him, He will work out the rest of the details.  Read the whole story on the Willits family in the article Faith in God, trust contribute to major league relationship.  


As a married man, I can attest to the importance of having a wonderful, supportive wife to share life with, partner in ministry and raise kids with. I have an amazing, beautiful wife that is a gift from God.   (to check out my wife’s blog and see what she/we are up to, click here. )  
As I consider the challenges that would come from being away from my wife for extended period of time,  I can appreciate all that Reggie and his wife had to do to make it work until they could be reunited in the same time zone.  The challenges that come up, no matter what the circumstances should always work to draw us closer to God.  Leaning on His help can guide us through whatever obstacle there is.  I appreciate the Willits story and wish them the best in going forward, where ever their path leads them.  A good, healthy, God-centered marriage can be such a witness and a demonstration of love and commitment.  As they stay focused on Him, I believe God will use them to impact the lives around them.


And because I am such a trivia buff. Here are a couple of extra tidbits about these 2 men.  Reggie Willits is named after former baseball hall of famer (and Angel outfielder) Reggie Jackson) and through a great chain of events, the Willett’s decided to name their first son what???  Jaxon!  Cool huh!  
And, earlier in this series, I blogged about Matt Tuiasosopo. (check it out here) Well, Matt will get married this summer to…….. Micah Owing’s sister Abi.  It’s a small world after all!

~~Chris

christop

2 Comments

  1. Hello, I enjoy your blog. I wonder if you would know … I remember several years ago about a baseball organization whose ownership was pretty religious and was actively trying to acquire christian players…. I thought it was the Diamonbacks but maybe it was the Rockies or another team. Ive found nothing on the web, would you have any idea?

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