Faith and History at the 2016 World Series

CBN Sports is on location at Progressive Field in Cleveland for coverage of the 2016 World Series. The Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are battling it out to stake their claim to the championship, two teams that haven’t seen a one in over 70 years. For the Indians it was 1948, but for the Cubs it was 1908. So you can probably imagine that the pressure on each ball club to win is at an all time high. I spoke to players from both teams who say they’re keeping everything in perspective. While winning is the goal, they’re playing for much more than a championship.”

The Cleveland Indians haven’t played in a world since 1997. This season they would not be denied. On the tail end of a lot of their victories was veteran relief pitcher Cody Allen who says he’s learned how to keep his priorities in order while playing on the biggest stage in baseball.

“My relationship with Jesus Christ is kind of…that allows me to keep things in perspective,” says Allen. “You don’t want to add pressure in these situations. You walk away from it at the end of the day and you understand that this is a game. And it’s a platform that the Lord has given me to use to reach other people. At the end of the day it’s perspective and we understand that we are here for a purpose that doesn’t include playing baseball. Although playing baseball, it’s a great honor and I’m glad to do it…but that’s not why we’re here.”

“God has a purpose for all of us in this game…I mean look at us we’re in the biggest stage in sports,” says Indians catcher Yan Gomes. “We get to share our faith. We get to talk to people about what we believe in.”

For the first time in his 10 year career outfielder Rajai Davis lead  the American League in stolen bases with 43. Because he did it at age of 36, he says there’s no way this would have been possible without help from the Lord.

“I think sometimes I fail to ask Him for his help sometimes. I think, ‘I got it’ you know, but I’m really not that good. But for over the course of this year though I’ve been pretty consistent about making Him for his help while I’m out there because He’s actually helping me. I’m just thankful I can be that extension of God’s grace over my life and a light so that people can see that there is a God working through me.”

World Series veteran Ben Zobrist has been here 3 times, winning the championship with Kansas City last season. He says if there’s one thing he’s learned it’s that a championship is great, but it’s not what’s most important in his life.

“You know God’s sovereign over all this stuff. Hopefully at the end of the day we can raise another trophy. But regardless He’s still good, and He’s still God. Don’t put your hope in baseball.  Yeah, don’t. It’s a great game, and we have a lot of fun out here and it’s a great job to have some day. But the bottom line is it can’t be God. It’ll never be that for us. It’ll always let you down in the end. So we may be champions at the end of this year but at some point my career is going to be over and baseball won’t be able to carry me and I know the Lord will always carry me so I put my hope in Him.”

Perhaps the most heartfelt story at the fall classic is that of outfielder Chris Coghlan, who lost his father when he was a boy. To cope with the loss, he turned to baseball, but not even America’s pastime could fill the void in his heart.

“Baseball became my god when my father died. You know I felt that was the way to honor him at a young age because he poured a lot into me. You know and baseball was big to him. So, I did that and obviously got me to a point of brokenness. God used that in my life. And then it’s just been a long journey of God just chiseling away at my heart. There’s so many ups and downs in this game and it ‘s the only real constant that I do have.”

For those whose hearts are heavy, Chris wants to leave this message.

“I would just encourage them at their brokenness to turn to Jesus versus other things. Speaking from a guy who has chosen other things before Christ. It just doesn’t fulfill.”


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