A Love Of The Game
There's a picture of me, wearing a small Minnesota Twins helmet and hitting a baseball. I was only one and a half years old. That's where it started. Growing up in the baseball-rich town of New Ulm, Minnesota, I started playing tee-ball when I was five years old. One of the biggest influences from my childhood was my dad. He would come home after work and help me practice because he knew it was what I wanted to do. I eventually played high school baseball in New Ulm and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the University of Minnesota.
A Dream Come True
When I was a kid, I asked my mom if I prayed every night would my dreams come true. My dreams were to play for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Twins. Well, I was honored to be named All-American during my college career and I made my big league debut with the Twins in 1995 at Oakland Stadium. I can tell you prayers are definitely answered. My favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I believe that if you want something bad enough, do the best you can, and if it is God's will dreams really do come true.
My whole career people told me I was too short, not strong enough, not fast enough. Through hard work and the grace of God I proved them wrong. I have been blessed with many accomplishments in my professional baseball career. I've been on five All-Star teams and even won a batting title in 1996. I've played for the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, and the Colorado Rockies and now have just signed a one year contract to play for the Seibu Lions in Japan.
If Jesus Were A Ball Player
Sometimes it's frustrating that I haven't enjoyed the same success in the major leagues that I have in the minors. My belief in God's will gives me the strength to continue. I try to look at my life through God's eyes. He has a plan and I am willing to follow him wherever his direction takes me. I could be playing my final year of professional ball or become an All-Star for many years to come. I don't know what God has in mind for me I just have to do the best I possibly can.
One of the biggest myths is that Christian athletes are soft. I believe that if Jesus were a ball player he'd be the hardest working person out there. I try every day to model my life after Christ and strive to always make the most out of my God-given abilities and opportunities.
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