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.
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.
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.”
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.