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 email@example.com.
We’re excited to welcome respected broadcaster and new Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson as a contributor to Faith in the Game. An ordained minister, Jackson and his wife, Desiree, founded True Love Worship Center in Southern California.
Every Sunday, Jackson will provide some “assigned reading” for the week, along with his thoughts. You can follow him on Twitter at @JacksonMark13.
Proverbs 11:25: “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
The generous soul will be made Rich! You want more? Start giving more!
Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
CASEY MARTIN: 10 YEARS LATER — Casey Martin still spends most days in a golf cart, but not because the Supreme Court says he can.
A decade after winning a four-year legal battle for his right to use a cart on the PGA Tour, he is the head golf coach at the University of Oregon. In just a few short years, Martin, who is afflicted with a debilitating circulatory disease that makes it difficult for him to walk or stand for long periods of time, has taken the once-undistinguished Ducks program to the elite ranks of college golf.
Click here to watch Martin talk about transitioning from the selfish pursuit of professional golf to the selfless profession of coaching.
To watch ESPN’s full story on Martin, please click here. Also, you can read Jeff Bradley’s insightful story on Martin’s life as a leader of men by clicking here.
“This feeling is different,” Martin said of coaching in general. “As a player, you control the effort you put into something. As a coach, not as much. I admit, I’m a high-energy guy. If I could, I’d be playing basketball, running, doing something physical. If I have any regret in life, it’s that the condition of my leg kept me from doing all those things. So, I may not deal very well with watching guys give less than they’ve got.”
In a separate interview, Martin said of dealing with defeats, “A champion knows failure is not final. The heart of a champion is one that sees God’s purpose in adversity.”
On his condition, Martin says, “When we go to heaven, we will all be whole. We’ll all have perfect bodies, physical ones. I don’t know if there will be golf — the Bible sort of hints against it — but no way will there be golf carts”
Brian Wilson is the closer for the San Francisco Giants. In 2010, he made the All-Star team for the second time, and recorded the final out in the Giants’ World Series win over the Texas Rangers.
I was born with big hands. I’m told that soon after I came into the world, my dad put a ball in my hand and said, “We’re going to make this boy a baseball player.” At night he’d come home from work and we’d play Wiffle Ball for an hour after dinner until it got dark.
As I got older, he wasn’t around that often. He was in the military and a tough man to know sometimes. Our relationship was strongest when we were playing sports. I was 12 years old and we were driving to a game, and he looks over and says to me, “Hey, Brian, I have something I need to tell you.” And he dropped the bomb on me that he had cancer. For the next five years he was battling, and he died when I was 17, just as I was about to go off to college.
Ben Petrick is co-moderator of Faith In The Game. A former Major Leaguer with the Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers, Ben has Parkinson’s disease and recently underwent an aggressive surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation to alleviate his symptoms. A news story on Ben’s recovery can be found here. Ben chronicles his progress, along with stories of faith, family and baseball, in this blog.
As parents, we all know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night and find our child standing next to the bed saying, “Mommy, Daddy, I can’t sleep.”Most of us — though not all of us — can do something to soothe them.
When you are among those who can’t soothe because you are physically unable, “defeated” doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion. The chronically ill all long for “normalcy,” and never more than when we want to calm our babies’ fears.
My 3-year-old daughter’s voice woke me up at 2:30 last night.It was a moment I’d been waiting for since the day she was born.