Beanie Ketcham

I will never forget the 1977 World Series. I was seven years old when I watched Reggie Jackson and the New York Yankees defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 games to 2. The Yankees were my team and Reggie was my man, and after I watched him hit three home runs in one game, I was hooked!

Although I played many different sports growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, baseball always was and still is my passion. I began playing Dixie Youth Baseball at age 8 as the only girl and went on to play two years of varsity baseball in high school.

Thinking my baseball days were over, I continued my sports career at Oklahoma State University where I played softball for four years. I was a three-time Academic All-Big Eight shortstop and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Female Athlete of the Year in 1992. Our team won the Big Eight championship all four years placing third in the Women's College World Series twice.

Then in 1994, I had the opportunity to return to my first love. I was drafted by the Colorado Silver Bullets -- the only women's professional baseball team. I recorded the team's first win in St. Paul, Minnesota with a 14-strikeout performance in seven innings and wound up leading the club in every pitching category that season.

The accolades didn't stop there. In 1995, I won the Sington Trophy which is awarded to Alabama's Female Professional Athlete of the Year.

Even though I have been very successful as an athlete, nothing is more important to me than my relationship with the One who blessed me with athletic talent -- Jesus Christ. He is the Author of Life, and without Him, I am nothing. Everything I have and everything I am belongs to Him. He deserves all the glory!

When my life on earth is finished, the Lord won't check my list of athletic accomplishments. What matters to Him is that I have lived my life for Jesus Christ and have shared His incredible love with others. The Bible tells us that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6)

I grew up in a church-going home and professed my faith in God at age 12, but I never really had an intimate, meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ until I made a personal commitment to Him a few years later. Since that time I have experienced lasting peace and joy in life. Because my life as a pro athlete is filled with highs and lows, it's so great to know that I am loved and accepted even when I fail and that my self-worth is not determined by my performance on the field, but rather by who God says I am. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)

Now I'd like to ask you some questions. Do you have a source of joy and strength that can't be taken away? Do you feel you have a purpose in life? Would you like to experience God's love now and for eternity?

I pray that you will open your life to Jesus Christ today.

If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.

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