The odds seemed stacked against the Cubs coming back from a three-run deficit to beat the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
Enter pinch hitter David Bote.
A fastball down the middle led to the most dramatic moment of the season for the Cubs, as Bote hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam to lift Chicago to a 4-3 win over the Nationals.
“It’s magical,” he said after the game. “It’s incredible. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It couldn’t happen to a better team, a better group of people in that clubhouse. And I’m so blessed and honored to be part of it.”
The road to the big leagues and the national spotlight wasn’t always easy for Bote. He was an 18th-round selection by the Cubs in 2012, the 554th player selected. He would spend the next seven seasons in the minor leagues waiting for his shot.
Finally, on April 21 of this year, Bote was recalled by the Cubs and made his MLB debut against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, his hometown.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 22, 2018
“The kid’s old school,” Chili Davis, the Cubs’ first-year hitting coach said to The Athletic. “He shows up, he’s the first guy in the cages. What I love about him is he works with a purpose. You talk to him, he has a reason why he’s in there, what he’s working toward.”
Bote comes from a family of faith and baseball. His father, Bob, is a legendary high school baseball coach in the Denver area. His brother, Danny, who followed their father’s footsteps, coached David in his senior year at Faith Christian High School in Arvada, Colo.
Living by the verse Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” — Bob Bote told Sports Spectrum that faith was always an important element in how he raised his children.
“After games and other life situations, we would discuss how God was involved, what He might be trying to teach us, and how to glorify Him by our resulting actions,” Bob said.
He began to provide spiritual encouragement to David as he began to watch his son’s baseball progression.
“Be an encourager,” Bob told Sports Spectrum. “Treat others the way you want to be treated. Give praise to Jesus in all situations and results and be humble.”
That advice helped David persevere throughout his baseball career and on Sunday, the 25-year-old rookie had his moment to shine. When asked how he reacted when he saw his son hit that incredible pinch-hit grand slam, Bote simply said, “Wow. He did it. And all for the Glory of God.”
David Bote is a living testimony of persevering and not giving up. And sometimes God just writes a script that man can’t.
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