Baseball's Brothers in Christ
By Tom Buehring
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Johnny Narron, Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach: “To be one of only 30 men in the world that are big league hitting coaches … I’m very humbled every single day I go on that ball field.”
Johnny Narron’s a specialist, advising baseball hitters how to hit the ball better. The Milwaukee Brewers hired him as their hitting coach this past off-season. Johnny’s also earned respect from players as a mentor.
“Our responsibilities are to the game and to the Milwaukee Brewers, but at the same time they are to the people involved with us here every day.”
That starts with his hitters. Johnny observes and analyzes their swings, helping them make adjustments and work through hitting slumps. National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun is among them.
Ryan Braun: “When you’re a hitting coach, it’s half-mechanical, half-psychological and mental. So having somebody who continues to just be positive and optimistic and tell us we’re going to have success is really important.”
Johnny worked with Josh Hamilton while the two were with the Texas Rangers. For four years he helped Josh develop as a hitter and assisted him in his recovery from drug addiction. Johnny was Josh’s support system.
Josh Hamilton: “It’s very important for me to have accountability partners that know me, that know my actions, that know my attitudes. And can tell when something’s not right … I usually surround myself with older men with more wisdom, who’ve been through things that I’ve either been through or been through things that I haven’t been through yet, and I can get good counsel.”
Johnny eventually helped Hamilton shape an MVP season, but it came with a price. After spending three years coaching minor leaguers, he sacrificed major league opportunities to be close to Josh.
Johnny: “I stepped away from being a hitting coach and humbled myself and did what the Lord wanted me to do. One thing when people ask me to sign an autograph, I’ll write down Matthew 6:33. And to me personally, that means seek the Lord and His righteousness and everything else will be given to you. I’ve tried to live that.”
Both Johnny and Josh knew a transition would eventually come.
Johnny: “He recognized I was probably going to get some opportunities and interest to be a Major League hitting coach. Josh told me, he said, ‘Johnny if you get that opportunity you go.’ And I felt Josh turning loose and saying, ‘You know you’ve been here for me. You’ve done this for me and my family, I appreciate that’ and he does!”
He left Texas for Milwaukee last November. It’s Johnny’s first job as a hitting coach in the Major Leagues after working through the Brewers minor league system. It’s also reunited him with his younger brother Jerry, a former manager and the Brewers current Bench Coach.
“Jerry’s not just a brother. He’s a very close friend. He’s got a lot more experience in the Major Leagues than I do. So, it’s kind of reversed. I’m the big brother and he’s looked up to me. But now it’s reversed. I look to him for his advice. And he’s my mentor now.”
Jerry Narron, Johnny’s brother: “The baseball part I don’t even think about him being my brother. I think of him being an outstanding hitting coach and an outstanding baseball guy.”
Johnny: “This is an opportunity I’ve prayed about for a long time, and this is the Lord’s plan as far as I’m concerned. “It’s not about baseball. It’s about being the man, the husband and the father the Lord wants me to be. Love the Lord like He loves us.”
Despite the move to Milwaukee, Johnny still keeps a close relationship with Josh. But now, it comes with one condition.
Johnny: “I’ve told Josh anytime he needs any help personally or professionally in baseball, call me. And I think he knows I’ll help him as much as I can all the way up to the point where maybe we face each other in the World Series. But that would be a lot of fun.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.