- November 24, 2016
I posted this last year on November 15, 2015, shortly after the World Series – won, if you recall, by the long-suffering Kansas City Royals, their first in 30 years since the “Don Denkenger asterix” Series of 1985 (sigh – when first base umpire Don Denkenger blew a call at first that kept the game and the Series alive – the Cardinals should have won – that allowed the Royals to win Game Six and Game Seven). Finally, the Royals won a clean one over the Mets. In this essay, I listed all the players who had been blessed over the years. All of them have long since retired, that is, until the last two. One of the active players was Daniel Murphy… the other was a fella named Ben Zobrist – remember him? He’s just the World Series MVP who put the EXTREMELY long-suffering Chicago Cubs into the winners’ circle for the first time in 108 years. Notice: I have said his name is Jewish-sounding … I include the reason why at the end.
So… including an introduction – from last year… Ben Zobrist (and Happy Birthday, Spig!)
November 15, 2015
- First of all – blessed players. Yahweh primarily has blessed players if they’re Christians, but He has, most commonly, blessed Jewish players. As Jackson Scholz told Eric Liddell before racing against each other in the finals of the 400-meter race in the 1924 Paris Olympics, “He who honors Me, I will honor,” (and that included Liddell AND teammate and Jewish sprinter Harold Abrahams). The same principle holds true in baseball.
- Ben Zobrist: Also not Jewish -as far as we know… but he is an outspoken Christian. That’s a very interesting last name… As Ryan Church wrote in his farewell message to the Met fans when leaving the team in 2011: “…I also learned a lot from my brief stay in New York. I was exposed to fine art, brown mustard, and tolerance. The latter I owe to Rabbi Schmule Ben-Zobrist of the 5th Avenue” Here’s his Wikipedia entry for the 2015 post-season:
- On July 28, 2015, Zobrist was traded to the Kansas City Royals… He played 59 games in the regular season for Kansas City and finished with a batting average of .284, with 7 home runs, 37 runs scored, and 23 RBIs. The Royals won the AL central division and played the Houston Astros for the ALDS with Zobrist starting in all five games. The Royals advanced to the World Series after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in six game to become the American League Champions. The Royals won the 2015 World Series after defeating the New York Mets in five games. Zobrist played second base and batted second in every game of the 2015 Royals postseason. Zobrist hit .303 in the 2015 postseason with 66 at bats, 15 runs scored, 20 hits, 2 home runs, and 6 RBIs.
- Zobrist often talks about his Christian faith, claiming that God helped him realize that he was supposed to play baseball. “I just felt like everything fell into place so much, that this is what I was supposed to do,” Zobrist said, “This is what I was made to do.” He often mentions during interviews how blessed he has been through his baseball career. He and Christian former teammate Gabe Gross have talked about how they organize Bible studies with their teammates. Pete Times writer Mark Topkin wrote how Zobrist does this with his teammates, saying Zobrist “doesn’t judge or proselytize, refraining from forcing his beliefs on anyone, though willing to get involved if asked.”