DALLAS—Athletic glory fades, but God’s glory endures, 2016 World Series Most Valuable Player Ben Zobrist told a crowd at Dallas Baptist University.
More than 1,000 people gathered in DBU’s Patty and Bo Pilgrim Chapel to hear Zobrist, a DBU alumnus, recall highlights from the World Series—including his go-ahead RBI double that sealed the Chicago Cubs’ victory in extra innings in Game 7.
Zobrist spoke at the event immediately following the 25th annual DBU Patriot baseball banquet. Pete Delkus, chief meteorologist at WFAA-TV and a DBU trustee, interviewed Zobrist about his life on and off the baseball diamond.
‘Incredible story that God has put together’
The Houston Astros drafted Zobrist as a shortstop in 2004 and traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006, where he developed into a “super utility player,” taking on any spot the manager needed him to play. Zobrist played in his first World Series in 2008 with the Rays, and the following year, he was named to his first of three All-Star teams.
After being traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2015, Zobrist headed to the Kansas City Royals later in the year and helped to solidify their postseason run and break a 30-year championship drought by winning the World Series that fall.
This past off-season, Zobrist became a free agent, eventually signing with the Cubs, who won their first World Series championship in 108 years.
“I could never have put together the incredible story that God has put together for my life,” Zobrist said. “But I know that this glory will soon fade. His glory is forever, so I want to give each of these moments over to him.”
Words of advice
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Zobrist offered advice to members of the 2017 Patriot baseball team.
“Be better than you were yesterday, in your academics, in your skills and in your walk with the Lord,” he said.
Referencing the Patriot baseball team motto, which calls on players to get 1 percent better each day, he concluded, “Strive for 1 percent daily, and trust the Lord with the rest.”
DBU President Adam Wright expressed his appreciation for the way Zobrist has used the attention his athletic success has drawn to praise to God.
“What is even more important than his incredible athletic performance is how Ben gives God all the glory and fame,” Wright said. “I am so thankful for the platform he has been given.”
Patriot Baseball Coach Dan Heefner offered his own personal words of appreciation for Zobrist, who is his brother-in-law.
“I am so proud of him, not only for his many accomplishments on the field, but for the way he stays true to his faith and strives to glorify God in all he does,” Heefner said. “His character is consistent, whether it is on national television or in his living room, as a husband and a father.”
Connor Smith, director of athletics at DBU, and Jonathan Teat, vice president for administrative affairs, presented a sport coat to Zobrist signifying his induction into the DBU Sports Circle of Honor.
During the program, Heefner presented the highlights from the 2016 season and discussed what the team looks forward to this season.
“Our program is focused on development,” Heefner said. “We are concerned with growing our players academically, athletically and spiritually, and these three things are deeply connected. We seek to be champions for Christ in all we do, because Christ is the one true champion.”
At the baseball banquet, DBU posthumously awarded the 2017 Patriot Legends Award to Jaral Meadows, a longtime Patriot baseball supporter, and his widow, Maria, who accepted the award.