As you watch this amazing World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, the voices you hear calling the game for FOX is Joe Buck (play-by-play) and John Smoltz (color commentary).
Smoltz, pitched for 21 years in the big leagues with the Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals, and was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2015 after finishing his career with 213 wins, 154 saves, 3,084 strikeouts, a Cy Young award (1996) and a World Series title (1995).
But it was a decision made in 1995 that changed the 8-time All Star’s life forever.
“In 1995, I sat down at a restaurant with Walt Wiley, our team chaplain at the time,” Smoltz told Tim Luke in 2005. “I asked him, ‘Why can’t I just live the way I want to live until I’m 42 or 43 and then get serious about God?’ He said, ‘Nothing prevents you from doing that–with the exception of one thing: You might not get to your target date.’ At that point I no longer wanted to take chances, so I accepted Jesus and began to live for Him. Someone might think that’s why I had my Cy Young season in 1996, but it’s not. However, it is why I was able to handle my Cy Young season.”
Smoltz said there was a big difference in his life between going to church and having a relationship with Jesus.
“I went to church, went to Bible study, and tried to do good and honor my family and God,” Smoltz said in the book BASEBALL FAITH. “But I didn’t understand the importance of having that relationship with Christ. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1995, I finally understood that being saved is not just a prayer; it’s a surrender. It’s a heartfelt contract. It’s an opportunity to know that everything that He’s given us in the Bible is for our benefit.”
Game 6 of the World Series is played tonight, with a possible Game 7 to be played on Wednesday Night November 1st. Smoltz will continue to be on the call with Joe Buck. First pitch is 820pm ET on FOX.
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