Evangelical Red Sox
In yesterday's Boston Globe, Bob Hohler reports on the emergence of a large group of evangelical Christian players on the defending world champion Boston Red Sox roster.
Hohler writes: . . .
They gathered in a makeshift house of God -- a brick-walled retreat in Fenway Park otherwise reserved for postgame interviews -- and prayed for dead and dying loved ones. They prayed for American troops in hot spots abroad. And for the poor souls in the path of Hurricane Katrina.
As the Sunday baseball crowd streamed into the park less than an hour before the defending world champions played their 128th game of the season, a dozen members of the Red Sox -- the largest group of evangelical Christians on any team in Major League Baseball -- joined an equal number of coaches and staffers in sharing a bond of faith that is fast becoming the stuff of national renown among religious figures in sports.
The service was conducted by the Rev. Walt Day of Baseball Chapel, a ministry that provides all 30 major league teams with a chaplain. Moments earlier, Day had turned a stuffy storage room in the visitors clubhouse into a chapel for five Detroit Tigers. . . .
The evangelical Sox believe in sharing the "good news" of their faith, as they demonstrated after their remarkable comeback last October when they climbed out of a three-game chasm against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series and swept the Cardinals in the World Series.
"I wanted to be able to glorify God's name when all was said and done," [Red Sox pitcher Curt] Schilling proclaimed after he won Game 2 of the World Series while bleeding through his sock because of an experimental medical procedure that enabled him to pitch with a dislocated ankle tendon.
Win or lose, Schilling and his fellow evangelicals said, the message remains the same.
"This is our platform, our place to speak our faith and live our faith," [teammate Mike] Timlin said. "This is a special gift from God, to play baseball, and if we can spread God's word by doing that, then we've almost fulfilled our calling." . . .
Day, who also serves as chaplain for the [NFL's New England] Patriots, has seen a common theme among professional athletes who turn to God.
"Some of these guys get everything they think they always wanted in life at a young age and then find that it still leaves them a bit empty," he said. "They become more open to spiritual things and it can lead to a personal relationship with God."
Hat tip to Marvin Olasky from World Magazine Blog.