Baseball can be a mentally punishing sport. Just ask Chris Davis, who recently set the unenviable record for consecutive at-bats without a hit, going 0-for-54 at the plate. It was only six years ago, in 2013, that Davis was an MVP candidate, finishing the season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs.
“Everybody knows he can hit. For gosh sakes, he’s Chris Davis, man,” Baltimore Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz recently told ESPN.
Davis finally broke through against the Red Sox on Saturday, as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs.
🍻 Cheers, #Baltimore!
Chris Davis knocks a 2-run single in the 1st. 💪 pic.twitter.com/E9emfDa6B5
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 13, 2019
After going hitless the following game, Davis hit his first home run of the season on a 1-for-3 day Monday. He’s been out with an illness since.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 15, 2019
“There was kind of a turning point for me a couple of weeks ago,” Davis said this week on The Dan Patrick Show, “where I felt like I just had to kind of embrace [the hitless streak] and try to have a little bit of fun with it, but at the same time, I wanted to take it seriously, continue to work and do whatever I could to get out of it. It’s baseball. Stuff like this happens. Hopefully, nobody ever has to go through it quite as long as I did.”
For Davis, learning how to find peace while playing such a fickle sport has been a long journey, and one that found him leaning into his relationship with Jesus. In an interview with The Increase, Davis described how the pressure of the sport early in his career connected him to his faith.
“It wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I realized I had replaced God with baseball, and was letting it run my life,” Davis said. “I had achieved a life-long dream of becoming a major league baseball player, but couldn’t understand why I was so dead and empty inside.”
So he sought answers, and began asking Christ-followers he knew about their faith.
“I was desperately trying to understand what this ‘walk with Christ’ was all about and how I went about it. I realized that baseball had an unbelievable grip on me and I wanted to fight it no more. I cried out to God, in a Westin Hotel room in San Francisco at 3 o’clock in the morning, and asked Him to save me from my worldly desires, and show me how to have an intimate relationship with Him.
“Since that night, I have seen God move in ways I could have never imagined. It wasn’t an instant overnight change, but slowly through time He led me by the hand. I still have struggles, but I know that my sins are forgiven, and that God can overcome anything I am going through that may seem daunting.”
Davis’s faith and perspective have created a perseverance in him that his teammates have been able to see as well.
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” Ruiz said. “That’s all you need to know about Chris Davis.”
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