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Effective Virtual Baseball Ministry

Published on May 19, 2020

Rebekah Wells
"I don't know why you wouldn't want a Christian ballplayer on your team. We should be the best teammates. We should give our best effort. We should be the best players for the coach. The coach shouldn't have any problems with us, because we're going to try and be the best players and we're going to do what the coach asks us to do, and give our best effort, because we're not trying to please the coach, we're trying to please our Lord."

This powerful message was just one of the highlights shared by John Olerud, former Seattle Mariners first baseman, during a virtual event hosted by Greater Seattle FCA.

As sports teams across the globe have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes from every level of play have adapted. From little league to the major leagues, seasons have been canceled, playoffs put on hold, and teammates have found creative ways to stay connected. FCA remains committed to supporting all coaches and athletes during this time. FCA Greater Seattle used the opportunity of online ministry to host a virtual event for more than 175 coaches, baseball players and their families to introduce them to FCA.

Olerud was interviewed by Brock Huard, FOX Sports commentator and former quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Huard also serves as an FCA Greater Seattle board member. Through the virtual event, the two beloved Seattle sports figures shared their evening with the next generation of athletes who were still only dreaming of playing ball, unable to take the field due to the pandemic.

The online event covered various topics including batting tips, overcoming injuries, brain surgery, being drafted into the pros and having a personal faith.

"I always thought I was a Christian because that's what my parents told me, and I thought it was just something I was born into and there was no choice," shared Olerud, who went on to explain that his wife’s questions about when he prayed to receive Christ motivated him to make a personal faith decision.

He went on to share how his wife explained the next steps for receiving Christ. "So, I prayed, and that's when I became a Christian. I began going to the baseball chapel with the Toronto Blue Jays and started learning more about my faith."

Many participants said the evening’s highlight came when they got the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A portion of the call. "It was super cool to ask John Olerud questions about playing and especially hitting tips," one athlete commented. At the end of the virtual event, FCA staff members shared other ways to participate in FCA and invited the coaches and athletes to become more involved. Although many seasons look different right now, FCA Greater Seattle continues to find effective and powerful ways to reach coaches and athletes for Christ.