The Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals are making history as they play in the first World Series game in the nation’s capital since 1933 on Friday night.
While both teams excelled on the field this season, players on both teams are aware that there is more to life than the game they love so dear.
The Christian faith is strong for players in both dugouts who acknowledge that the talent they have has been given to them by God.
In the following pages are five Christians playing in the 2019 World Series.
Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is having the best season of his seven-year MLB career. He hit 34 home runs and batted in 126 runs in the regular season. He is in the running to be awarded the National League Most Valuable Player award.
The 29-year-old Houston native is living a dream as he has now played and won two World Series games in his hometown. The Nats have taken a 2-0 advantage in the seven-game series and will return home to the District of Columbia for the next three games.
Rendon has been the focus of articles in recent days quoting a remark he made last year in which he proclaimed that he wanted to be “more Christian than a baseball player.”
The remark came in a video interview with Houston pastor Greg Matte in February 2018.
“I want to be known as a Christian baseball player and I’m still trying to grow into that,” Rendon explained. “But in the end, I want to be more Christian than baseball player.”
“If I just try to stay in the Word and try to surround myself with good people and have good community, I think that will just guide me on that path,” Rendon added.
Rendon will be a free agent at the end of this postseason. He was asked about his future with the team in an interview with The Washington Post last year.
“You want to plan for the future,” Rendon told The Washington Post. “But I’ve come to learn your plans don’t always come to fruition. Obviously, with my faith, too, I don’t want to seem like it’s all about me, me, me. It takes away from what I do for Him, for the Lord.”
With his 5-foot-6-inch stature, Jose Altuve has become a fan favorite as he has dominated at the plate and in the field over the course of his nine-year career.
He is a six-time all-star, who led the American League in hits in four different seasons and played a major role in the Astros World Series run in 2017.
The 29-year-old second baseman has also been in a number of national television commercials for brands like 5-hour energy, Walt Disney World and DirecTV.
Altuve was the hero of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series last Saturday when he hit a walk-off, two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the New York Yankees to send the Astros to the World Series.
After hitting that home run, Altuve wasted no time in praising the Lord for the accomplishment. In a postgame interview, he was asked by Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal to talk about what was going through his mind when he saw the pitch and hit the ball.
“First, I want to thank God and all the fans for the beautiful game, for the beautiful playoffs,” Altuve said.
He later explained: “Running around the bases, the only thing I was thinking was thanking God and just thinking that we’re going to the World Series once again.”
In the past, Altuve has expressed how important his faith in God was when growing up in Venezuela.
“I grew up in a family that always told me that to achieve success, we needed to have God first,” Altuve said through a translator in a video released by the Astros in 2015, according to The Houston Chronicle.
“To achieve success wasn’t to get to the major leagues or have the best season in the world. The best success is to live your life the way God wants you to. If you can do that, if you can be good with God, then I think you will have success in your life.”
Faith is important for a number of Nationals players, not just Rendon. The 20-year-old Dominican outfielder, Juan Soto, is one of them.
Soto has made a name for himself with a monster offensive season and his patience at the plate.
Soto is the second-youngest player ever to hit a home run in his first World Series game when he drove a high fastball from Gerrit Cole over the wall for an opposite-field home run in Game 1. He became the fourth player ever to hit a home run in a World Series game before the age of 21.
Soto also got the game-winning hit in the Nationals’ victory in the N.L. Wild Card game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Oct. 2 that kept the National’s postseason hopes alive. After that game, Soto said in a postgame interview that he, his dad, mom and brother prayed before the game.
“We just prayed before the game and we told Him that we just need His help,” Soto said. “With God’s help right now to get the opportunity to just [get it done.]”
The day after the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series on Oct. 10, Soto posted the words of James 4:10 on his Instagram account in Spanish. Those words were posted along with a photograph of Soto pointing toward the sky while stepping on home plate after hitting a home run.
In English, James 4:10 reads: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith