Rays outfielder Ben Zobrist keeps his faith strong both home and on the road — and he credits God for his career in baseball.
Zobrist says his beliefs in God first came around the age of four when he made the decision that he wanted to go to heaven, and it was that simple then, and still is today.
“First of all, I try to be excellent at my job, because I know God wants me to give my best to be a walking witness and ambassador of the excellence of Jesus Christ,” said Zobrist in an interview in 2008 with Tim Challies. “My teammates and coaches are watching to see if my relationship with Christ makes me any different on the ballfield, and I pray that God will be represented in my play as excellent.”
Zobrist also said that he feels an increased amount of responsibility as a Christian athlete in today’s culture because it glorifies performance so much. So he naturally feels more pressure to perform well in baseball and perform well in life for God.
But what about when Zobrist is on the road? Excluding spring training and postseason play, Zobrist is on the road for 81 out of his 162 games. So how can Zobrist maintain strong relationships with his family and faith?
Zobrist says Sunday games definitely interfere with his schedule, but he has almost no time to get to an evening mass during the week because the Rays are usually playing a night game during the week. However, Zobrist says a certain organization has helped him maintain his faith.
“Baseball Chapel, an organization which provides an on-call minister in each baseball community, has been a great help with bible study during the week as well as ready networking among Christian ballplayer,” says Zobrist. “We attend a service when we can. We take advantage of what Baseball Chapel offers. We read as much scripture personally as we can. And we also try to listen to podcast sermons as much as we can.”
Zobrist ended the interview praising his family for his ability to keep his strength with his religion. He also credits his local church back in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., for helping him with his faith on the road.