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.
The following is excerpted from Ben Petrick’s acclaimed new book, Forty Thousand to One, which he co-wrote with Scott Brown. Petrick was a catcher for the Colorado Rockies and one of the top prospects in baseball when he was told he had Parkinson’s disease — a diagnosis he hid for four Major League seasons.
After his retirement, Petrick became a full-time caregiver to his daughter, Makena, while his wife went back to work. His health deteriorated greatly until one year ago, when he underwent a radical surgery in an attempt to lessen his Parkinson’s symptoms.
Forty Thousand to One was recently included in the library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
I left the doctor’s office wondering what the appropriate response should be to finding out you’re just 22 and no longer free from time.
A doctor at University Hospital in Denver had told me the odd movement disorders I’d been experiencing for nearly six months were caused by “Parkinsonism.”
“I’d diagnose you with actual Parkinson’s,” he said, “but you’re four decades younger than the typical patient.”
Getting that diagnosis (just seven months after my father received the same news) was more than surreal. It was like watching the moon fall.
The following story is excerpted from Ben Petrick’s new book, “40,000 to One.” To find out more about the book, and to place an order, please visit www.BenPetrick.com.
Ben is founder 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 recent ESPN feature on Ben and his family can be found here, and a television news story on Ben’s amazing recovery can be found here. Ben chronicles his progress, along with stories of faith, family and baseball, in this blog.
In the film “The Tree of Life,” the mother says in narration, “There are two ways through life — the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.
“Nature,” she goes on to say, “only wants to please itself. Get others to please it, too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it.
“But grace doesn’t try to please itself. Grace accepts being slighted, forgotten. Accepts insults and injuries.”
It’s not adequate to say that my mother possesses grace. Grace is my mother.The two are interchangeable.
I’ll pause right here and say that I realize it’s not uncommon to write about your mother in awe-inspired terms, as if you’re seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. But if you met my mother, you’d know.
You’d know she’s a revelation, like seeing anything for the first time must be.
Hello Friends — Apologies that we’ve been away lately — please know it’s been with good reason. We have been working on a book of stories by Faith in the Game co-founder Ben Petrick. That collection will be made available in the coming days.
You’ll also be reading and hearing a lot more about Ben and his brave fight against Parkinson’s disease, starting with an incredible feature story now appearing in ESPN: The Magazine, written by legendary sportswriter Steve Wulf. It’s a great testament to the Petrick family and their journey. The story is only available in print editions right now, and will be online in January.