Faith in the Game is a blog containing submissions by athletes of faith. Each of them was asked one question: Tell us a story about a time when your faith was most present in your life. Rather than tell us about their faith, we asked them to show us.
These stories are oftentimes uplifting, and at all times profound, raw, honest, introspective and heartfelt. These are not the sort of stories you hear in a press conference. Some of them take place on the field; others, off it. They are presented without agenda or judgment. On many levels, we think you'll find them fascinating, as they pull up the veil on a side of sports that is rarely revealed but very often present.
This blog is moderated by author and father Ben Petrick, a former Colorado Rockies catcher thought to be the only professional athlete to have his career shortened by Parkinson's Disease, along with writer and father Scott Brown. In addition to their professional and family lives, both men are also coaches of youth sports. A selection of the stories they've collected will soon appear in a book, and together they're also working on Ben's autobiography.
If you'd like us to email you when new stories appear on the blog, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. — Hebrews 10:10
When an athlete comes off the field and says, “God gave us the victory tonight,” we hope he or she is saying, “I thank God who gave me a healthy body so I can play at my best; I thank God for my good mind that allowed me to play alert and with awareness; I thank God for giving me the hunger to always be at my best.” If that is what the athlete is saying, then I want to say, “You are absolutely right. Thank God for all God’s good gifts.”
But if that athlete is saying God literally guided the football through the uprights for the winning field goal so that one team would win and the other lose, that man has a lot to learn about life and about God.
God is not our personal weather expert, football strategist, romance matchmaker, or rectifier of our past mistakes. God is God. God is our Sovereign, not our servant. — Ron Newhouse
We are excited to announce a new book by Faith in the Game founder Ben Petrick titled 40,000 to One. You can order the book and read about it in greater detail by visiting BenPetrick.com.
40,000 to One is a collection of stories written by Ben, detailing his meteoric rise as a prospect with the Colorado Rockies, his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, and the courageous saga that followed. Amazingly, Ben played parts of five Major League seasons while hiding the disease. When he finally retired, Ben became primary caregiver to his daughter — the “One” in the book’s title — during the day while his wife worked. Eventually, Ben underwent two dramatic surgeries in an effort to improve life for his wife and child.
Several of the stories in 40,000 to One have appeared in some form on Faith in the Game, though the majority are original works. In all, we’re confident you’ll agree with nationally syndicated columnist Sharon Randall, who wrote of 40,000 to One:
“Ben writes with a kind of honesty and grace that both breaks your heart and makes it soar. He makes me want to be not just a better writer, but a better person. Never maudlin, truly inspiring, he and his book are a treasure.”
Jeff Bradley, one of the best sportswriters in the business today, just posted, “The story of Ben Petrick, written by Steve Wulf, is quite simply the best story to ever run in ESPN The Magazine. Read it and learn more about Ben by reading his Faith in the Game blog.”
The story is available in print editions of the magazine only right now, and will be online later in the month. For what it’s worth, we couldn’t agree more — Steve Wulf is a legend in the business for good reason, and he does incredible justice to the Petrick family’s astonishing journey. Please read and tell your friends.