L.A. Dodger Adrian Gonzalez Not Defined by Baseball
By Tom Buehring
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Adrian Gonzalez stands out among baseball’s best hitters. In a game crowded with talent, he was last summer’s biggest bargaining chip, traded from Boston to a Los Angeles team with postseason hopes. Instead his Dodgers were eliminated from a playoff berth.
“It’s very disappointing. It’s tough, especially when you’re in the middle of it. You feel like you got a chance. All you can do is work as hard as you can.”
Adrian was the first overall pick of the 2000 Major League Draft. Hard work transformed the first baseman into a 4-time All-Star and 3-time Gold Glove.
“Well hitting is really difficult. It’s about putting in the work, being physically prepared, being mentally prepared, doing everything you can in the video end of it, the physical end of it, working in the cage, understanding the opposing pitcher, all those things and then just letting the game be the game.”
After playing six of his first 8 major league seasons in his hometown of San Diego, Adrian was traded to the Red Sox, where he signed a 154 million dollar contract extension. Expectations soared, but the team missed the playoffs. Adrian learned to deal with big market pressure.
“This is a game. We’re not robots. We can’t come out every day and drive in that guy in and do everything. There’s going to be a lot of failures and it’s a long season. There’s a lot of good things that happen, bad things that happen, what matters is how we respond to every aspect, every situation in the game. For me it’s about just letting it happen and just trusting in the Lord.”
Tom Buehring, 700 Club Reporter: What does Adrian Gonzales have to be afraid of?
“Everybody’s going to judge me by the statistics at the end of the day. ‘Did you get that big hit to drive in the runs?’ So there’s going to be times when you don’t produce and everybody’s going to come out and say, ‘Hey, what happened? Why didn’t you produce?’ Those are all things that we’re groomed since we’re little kids to come through in those situations. And so human nature is to fear failure.”
“Despite the countless swings over his 9-year pro career, Adrian also clenches a reminder. Whenever he grabs his bat and the pressure that comes with it, he reads a well-placed inscription that has grabbed his heart!”
“Psalms 27:1 had been in my heart for awhile. Since the time I read it – something that just gave me peace. It says, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom should I be afraid?’
“There’re times when you’re at the plate that it’s a tough moment in the game or it’s a tough pitcher or you’re going through rough times at the plate and you’re struggling. All these things are in your head and it turns into an ‘I’ thought. ‘I want to get a hit. I need to get a hit. When I look at the verse, it’s just like, ‘Hey, wait, God’s in control. It’s how I respond to the result that really matters. And so for me it’s about just trusting in Jesus and allowing Him to be at the center of your thought process.”
While Adrian’s committed to baseball and improving his game, it’s not his first priority. “If you put your purpose in something on earth, you’re always putting yourself at risk of that purpose or that fulfillment not being met. I can go out there tonight and have a career ending injury or anything. It can be taken away from you in a heartbeat. And so, you put your purpose on Jesus. That will never be taken away.”
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