Cy Young Award Winner
Pitcher, San Diego Padres
2007 National League: most wins, most strikeouts, best earned run average
Jake Peavy: Pitcher to Be Feared
By Will Dawson
The 700 Club
San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy dominates batters. He has an arsenal of nearly ten different pitches and his fastball has been clocked at 97 miles-per-hour.
In 2007 he won the triple crown of pitching by leading the National League in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Then by unanimous vote, he was given a baseball pitcher’s highest honor, the Cy Young award.
“To be called a Cy Young award winner is something I could have never imagined ever happening to me,” Jake said. “I’m just always amazed at the blessings that came my way over the years.”
Jake hails from Mobile, Alabama, the birthplace of baseball greats Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, and Willie McCovey. It’s also in the heart of the Bible belt, and Jake fondly remembers giving his heart to God.
“I think I was about seven-years-old and I remember I was at Moffat Road Baptist Church, where I grew up with all my friends and family, and probably didn’t understand nearly enough, but I knew enough to understand I wanted to be saved and wanted Jesus to be Lord of my life,” Jake said. “What an awesome experience.”
Jake was a very good high school player, but in talent rich Mobile, good players are as common as the summer heat. When high school ended Jake signed to play at Auburn. He was also drafted by the Padres in the 15th round which meant major league teams weren’t fighting for his services. He says he had a very difficult decision to make.
When the time came to make the decision whether to sign professionally or play at Auburn it was a tough decision.
“You just got to take a leap of faith and I guess I did that and signed professionally,” Jake said.
Later that season the Auburn coach who recruited Jake resigned, affirming his decision to play professionally.
“Knowing that I felt like then and there, that I was where God wanted me to be and hopefully on the right track to make a difference in other people’s lives for Him,” Jake said.
Jake spent only three years in the minor leagues before being called up to the Padres in 2002. Since then he’s become one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. A role he says some might criticize.
“People also think Christians are very passive people and that drives me crazy as an athlete, because if you watch me play and compete I’m the furthest thing from passive that you’ll see on the baseball field,” Jake said. “I love to compete and I love to win. I want people to know that what they see is what they get. I’m certainly not sitting here telling you that I’m perfect by any means, because I’ll be the first to tell you I’m the most unworthy person to have what I have and to do the things I do. That being said, I know that the grace of God covers me and is new every morning and I’m going to live life in that regard.”
Jake Peavy is one of the best, but he’ll tell you his success is due to God’s grace.
“He’s the reason that I believe I’m able to do what I do. There’s no way I can tell you that on my own I can go out and be able to perform in some of these stadiums and some of these atmospheres,” Jake said. “But for some reason I believe that I am here, that He has a calling on my life and has allowed me to have the talent.”
“Jesus means life to me. Jesus is our savior. When I think about Jesus I think about the sacrifice he made so that we may have eternal life. I can certainly tell you I’m not afraid to die and I certainly have a peace about my life,” Jake said. “I just tell you to look into to what I believe is the inspired word of God, the Bible and ask the Lord to show up in your life. And I firmly believe that if you’ve reached the point to where you want to have what we have, the salvation we have, I challenge them to ask the Lord to show up in their life, in their own way, ask him to show up, be real to them and I promise you he will.”
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