How important is baseball to me?
It's important enough to give a 100 percent effort every time I go out to the pitcher's mound. When I give 100 percent, I'm always happy with my performance whether our team wins or loses, and because of that effort, I've had many great moments in my major league career.
In the 1989 World Series, I won two of four games and was also the only American League pitcher to get a hit in World Series play in the 1980's. I struck out 16 New York Yankees in 1988 and took a no-hitter into the 9th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1985 which turned out to be a two-hitter.
Baseball isn't the most important thing...
Yet with all the great moments, the money, the publicity and the enormous amount of pressure that comes with a major league career, baseball is not the most important thing in my life. Let me explain.
I grew up on a farm in the small town of Eakly, OK. I loved sports and spent most of my time playing baseball and basketball because there wasn't much to do in Eakly.
I was good in both sports, and in my senior year of high school, I realized that I had a chance to play pro baseball. I was recruited by major universities and was the first player in the state to be drafted in 1978 (St. Louis Cardinals). I was faced with the decision of playing pro ball or attending Oral Roberts University on a baseball scholarship.
Although I had no desire to be tied up in college for three years, I chose to attend ORU since it had one of the best baseball teams and facilities in the country.
Then I heard about a great plan...
At ORU, we were required to attend chapel services twice a week and that's where I first heard that God really loved me and had a plan for my life. I also heard that I could have a personal relationship with His only Son, Jesus Christ.
I chose to accept Jesus into my life. Soon after that , baseball no longer was the top priority in my life because I found the real meaning of life. My love for God grew stronger and stronger. It was a slow process and I "fell off the fence" a few times, but with God's help I eventually got rid of my bad habits.
I have not had a trouble-free life, but I know in my heart that God has helped me through the rough times and has been with me in the good times.
In June of 1981, I was the first tight-handed pitcher drafted No. 1 in the country. After that, I played Double-A ball in Lynn, MA and came up to the big leagues in 1982. I've been fortunate to stay at the major league level since that time.
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.