A Career In The Making
I started playing baseball in my hometown of Talahasse, Florida, and my career began to take off as a member of the Florida State University Seminoles, where I pitched in two college World Series. I also led the ACC my junior year with 138 strikeouts in just 114 innings. The same year, going 10 and 1 and racked up a 3.00 ERA. The Oakland A's drafted me in the first round in 1993, and a year later I helped the Huntsville Stars take the Southern League Championships with a 15-3 record. In '95, I won 12 games in Edmonton, and then hit the "show" in 1996.
Win Or Lose
But, win or lose, good times or bad, my family has always been there for me. Their encouragement has given me strength, and they definitely won my respect early on. Growing up in a small country church and having such a loving family, I found it easy to give my life to God. He helps me daily, gently removing all the traps that try to get hold of a ballplayer, like the pressure out on the mound and even financial pressures. He replaces all that with His love. No matter what my performance, in day to day life or in the win-loss column, Jesus is the most important thing to me. He has taught me to trust that there is a purpose in all that happens.
Today I try to lead my family just as my mother and father did when I was growing up. My wife and I are committed to teaching our children that Jesus is the way to peace, to purpose and to heaven. In the Bible, He tells us how much He loves us and wants us to know "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that we might not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
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