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Matz on Mets and Growing Closer to God

NY Mets pitcher Steven Matz explains how God and faith have come full circle in his baseball journey. Read Transcript

ANNOUNCER: He hits this one to center field.

Hamilton going back.

It's turned around!

And it's over his head!

Two runs will score!

Steven Matz with a double drives on the pair!

NARRATOR: New York Mets pitcher, Stephen Matz,

is living his childhood dream.

First, he's playing major league baseball.

Secondly, his family has been Mets fans

as long as he can remember.

It's really cool.

You know, now that I'm kind of here

and you're kind of entrenched in what you're doing.

So the fan side of it's out.

But for my family, it's huge.

Just being a local guy, they get to read the papers.

They read about me in the papers.

And that's something that's really cool for them.

NARRATOR: Steven grew up in a Christian home,

and confessed his faith in Christ as a boy.

He says making it to the Majors is an answer to prayer.

ANNOUNCER: Strike three.

I remember when I was growing up,

I prayed for like three things every day.

And it was please let no bad guys come into my house.

It was please let me date this girl.

It was actually four things.

And please let me become a Major League Baseball player,

and please let me get this dog I wanted.

And now everything came true.

So it's kind of funny.

NARRATOR: But as he got older, he

was more interested in playing baseball then getting

to know God.

It wasn't a relationship.

It was more of like, it was something

that I couldn't get in contact with.

It was OK, you be a good person or whatever it is,

and you'll be fine.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Steven was drafted

in 2009 out of high school and put

in the instructional league-- the stage before the Minors.

But before he got a chance to pitch

in his first professional game, he tore a tendon in his arm

during practice and underwent surgery.

Steven was unable to pitch for two years,

and began to question if he still had the ability

to achieve his dream.

With all those expectations and stuff,

there's just so much doubt that creeps in your head.

And can I get healthy?

When I get healthy, can I get the guys out--

the professional hitters out?

So there was just a lot that has going on at the time.

NARRATOR: Steven was at an all-time low,

and didn't know how to pull himself up.

But an invitation he received changed his perspective.

Someone invited me to a Bible study.

And that Bible study I'd heard really

the gospel for the first time, just plain and simple.

NARRATOR: With a better understanding of the gospel,

Steven began building his relationship with the Lord.

He says this was God's plan all along.

It took me two years to come back.

That second year was the year I was able to do Bible study.

So He used that time.

And He prepared my heart for that time

to attend that Bible study.

And she showed me a great church to go to,

that same Bible study teacher, so it was awesome.

NARRATOR: With a new relationship with Christ,

Steven says his goals had changed.

And I just remember my mindset just completely different.

My identity is not in baseball anymore.

Where back then, my identity was baseball.

My identity is in Jesus now, and understanding

what that's all about, and just using this as a platform.

NARRATOR: Steven threw his first pitch as a pro in 2012.

Three seasons later, he was finally

called up to join the New York Mets in June 2015, where

he helped them become National League champions

and make it to the 2015 World Series.

You know, it was cool to get called up

and be able to pitch at home.

I believe that God didn't take me through all

that to end it right there.

Brought me back, and I was able to pitch in the World Series

that year.

NARRATOR: Now in his first full season with the Mets,

Steven understands that even in a game where

you can fail more times than you succeed,

what's important to remember is that through all the physical

and mental stress of baseball, identity and strength

can be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

When people see Steve Matz on the mound, what is it

that you want them to see?

I just want them to see you know, a fierce competitor.

I want them to know I'm a Christian by the works

that I do off the field, and not by so much on how I speak

or whatever, but just by the way I act.

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