Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

'Champions of faith: Baseball'

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Today, I find myself spending far less time on those pages. The scores and game recaps take second place to stories about athletes doing drugs, in trouble with the law or complaining that their multi-million dollar contracts aren't enough and they want more. That's not the kind of news I want to start my day!

Recently, though, I had a chance to view a new DVD that reminded me that while baseball, like any line of work, has its downside, it also has people who believe that as important as the game is to them, living and practicing their faith is far more important.

The DVD is called "Champions of Faith: Baseball" and it was produced by Catholic Exchange (www.ChampionsofFaith.com) and features, among other major leaguers, Mike Piazza, David Eckstein, Jeff Suppan, Mike Sweeney, Jack McKeon and Rich Donnelly, each talking about the importance of spirituality in their daily lives.

Mike Piazza, currently with the Oakland A's, speaks movingly of the importance of the Eucharist in his life. His grade school dream was to be a major leaguer ball player and, as he tells it, not only has he realized that dream but he's done it as a part of his faith journey. And he's kept his faith first.

During spring training in1999, the Kansas City Royals told Mike Sweeney that he had no future in their organization. Jolted, Mike went to Mass, something he hadn't done in a long time, and he had a long conversation with God during which he imagined being on the back seat of a tandem bike and "I told God that, from that day forward, I'd let him have the front seat and do the steering."

Mike Sweeney made the Royals and turned his career around. Since then he's been on five All Star teams. However, it's the story of the 2001 altercation between Sweeney and Jeff Weaver, then of the Detroit Tigers, that I found especially moving. The normally peaceful Sweeney charged the mound after he thought Weaver tried to hit him. They had a bruising fight which resulted in bitterness that wasn't resolved for five years. The emotional story of that healing will affect you, baseball fan or not.

Jeff Suppan, of the St. Louis Cardinals, tells of seeing teammate David Eckstein at Mass one morning. "I didn't know he was Catholic and I don't think he knew I was either, but from that day on we've been going to Mass together whenever we're on the road. It's helped us develop a strong, supportive friendship."

Rich Donnelly, third base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, talks about falling away from his faith after becoming a big league player. He was returning to the church in 1992, when, at spring training, he got a call from his 16-year-old daughter, Amy, telling him that she had a brain tumor. The story of how his family coped with this tragedy is a witness to the importance and power of faith in our lives.

In the few weeks I've had a copy of "Champions of Faith: Baseball," I've watched it three times. For me, the stories not only restore my belief in the national pastime, but, more importantly, they are great testimony to how rich our lives can be when filled with faith.

- - -

Dennis Heaney is president of The Christophers

- - -

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, "Living God's Joy," write: The Christophers, 12 East 48th St., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org.

Contact

The Christophers
http://www.christophers.org ,
Dennis Heaney - ,

Email

Keywords

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.