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CBN.com Kansas City Royal Jeremy Affeldt could be on his way to becoming one of baseball’s best pitchers. The 6”4, 215-pounder from Phoenix began his career fresh out of high school when the Royals drafted him in ‘97. After nearly five years in the minors, Jeremy made his major league debut in 2002. When on the mound, he says that he prays to help him focus.
“I’m in my own little world out there. There’s nobody coaching me,” Jeremy says. “I’m focused on what I’m doing. I’ll be asking God for help but other times I’m having a conversation ‘cause He gives me peace when I’m talking to Him.”
When Jeremy takes the mound for Kansas City, he’s not just trying to pick up a Royals win. He told me it’s also his unique privilege to worship God in front of thousands.
“When it comes to worship, a lot of people have gifts. In church it’s fun to sing -- the only thing is I‘m not good at it. I believe God gave me a gift to pitch. That’s where I ‘feel His pleasure’ a lot.”
The peace that Jeremy speaks of was not always there. It wasn’t until he talked with a chaplain at an outreach conference that he had a change of heart.
“He did a pretty cool thing,” Jeremy says. “He gave me a card; it was a tandem bicycle. He said, ‘When you invite Christ into your life, you invite Him onto your tandem bicycle, but obviously there’s two people that peddle and one that steers. If you’re a believer, where’s God on that bicycle?’”
So what happens when Jeremy faces a Christian up at bat that believes his gift is hitting?
“I think God wants you to have success in life and in the game of baseball for me. But I don’t think that’s His main focus. I think character building is a big thing for Him.”
According to Jeremy, some of his teammates strengthen his character through encouragement and accountability.
“We’ve got about ten guys that are solid believers on the team and all of a sudden now you’ve got a group of guys that are going to be encouraging each other. We’re going to be lifting each other up.
"This game is a game of failures -- hitters fail 7 out of 10 times. Every time I give up a hit or walk a guy, I fail. So we need a lot of encouragement. With all those guys encouraging you, why wouldn’t you want to be a believer and why wouldn’t you want that feeling?”
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