As you can imagine, sports has always played a big part in my life. Growing up in Hayward, CA, I participated in baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, bowling -- whatever was in season. I was always active, and being involved in athletic competition was always fun.
At Tennyson High School I was an All-City selection in baseball and basketball in 1982 and was also player of the Northern California Baseball Player of the Year. After that season I was drafted in the 12th round by the New York Mets.
Instead of signing a pro contract out of high school, I went on to play ball at Arizona State University where I threw a one-hitter in the College World Series and was selected to Baseball America's freshman All-American Team.
Then in 1985 I was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth round and spent the next five and a half years in the minors.
I was called up to the major-league level in 1991 and had an outstanding season. As a reliever, I was the Brewers' rookie of the year with a 2-1 record and a 1.00 ERA, setting a Brewer record with 15 consecutive saves.
Since that time, playing professional baseball has been a great experience for me. The game is filled with excitement, and every ballplayer hopes his career is filled with accomplishments. But to be honest with you, I'm not obsessed with accumulating honors and earning a lot of money. Life on earth is short and these things amount to nothing in the end. My No.1 goal in life is to honor and serve Jesus Christ.
When I was a young person, I was basically a good kid. Back in high school I attended a youth group retreat where I made a decision to commit my life to Jesus Christ. For several years I knew that the Lord was in my heart, but me relationship with Him wasn't growing. Then in the summer of 1995, things began to happen. When I made an effort to get to know God by reading His Word (the Bible) and praying daily, my love for Him grew stronger.
I can honestly say that my life has changed because of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have experienced a real sense of joy, peace and contentment on the inside, and God has given me the strength to get through tough times. Best of all, I know for sure that I'll spend eternity in heaven when I die or when the Lord returns.
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