The St. Louis Cardinals held their annual Christian Family Day on Sunday after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2. Longtime Diamondback and current Cardinal first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, playing in his first series against his former team, was the featured speaker.
As one of the game’s best hitters, Goldschmidt was accustomed to battling for MVP awards during his eight seasons as a member of the Diamondbacks, the team that drafted him in the eighth round out of Texas State in 2009. He racked up six All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger Awards in Arizona. But Goldschmidt was traded to St. Louis last offseason.
He has seen his batting average drop to .251, and he wasn’t selected for the 2019 All-Star Game. Still, the Cardinals are 46-45 and only three games out of the NL Central lead. “Goldy” is excited for the second half of the season, both on the field and in his relationship with Christ.
“I wasn’t a Christian up until about four or five years ago,” Goldschmidt recently told STLSportsPage.com, “so I am still pretty young in my faith.”
Goldschmidt is of Jewish ancestry and was raised Catholic, but it wasn’t until after he arrived in Arizona that he and his wife, Amy, began to truly see what God had to say in His Word. They were inspired.
“Before as an outsider I was like, ‘Oh man, as a Christian you have to be perfect and all these people think they’re perfect,'” Goldschmidt said. “Let’s be honest, there’s no one on this planet who is perfect and I think we all know that. I started to see that with those guys; we all make mistakes, not just baseball mistakes but real-life mistakes.”
God brought Goldschmidt to faith over the course of a few years while he was busy tearing up the league in Arizona. Now in St. Louis, Goldschmidt is blessed to be around other noted believers like Matt Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, and his faith can continue to flourish. He’s a regular visitor at children’s hospitals and a regular speaker at churches and various Christian events, using his time and energy as a professional athlete to love others as Christ loves him.
“The big picture is where you understand that baseball is not everything in life,” Goldschmidt told STL Sports Page, and explained further in a video by HavenToday:
Although the 2019 MLB season has not gone exactly as he had planned, Goldschmidt is not without hope. He knows that his value in God’s eyes is not measured by balls and strikes. That knowledge frees him to leave everything he has on the diamond.
“I always tried to play the game to the best of my ability as hard as I could,” Goldschmidt told STL Sports Page. “Maybe I’ve changed as a human, my views have changed, but I’m playing the game just as hard if not harder. I think sometimes the outside view of Christians is that the guy doesn’t care about baseball, doesn’t care if they win, and I think that’s the farthest thing from the truth. That’s the way I’ve been taught. You’re supposed to go out there and compete with everything you have. I believe you should use the gifts that Jesus has given you and use them to glorify Him.”
In March, Goldschmidt signed the largest contract in Cardinals team history, a five-year, $130 million extension through the 2024 season — plenty of time to continue to work toward being the best first baseman he can be, even as Christ continues to work in him.
“Everybody has a foundation they are trying to live their life by, mine is just the Lord’s Word and the Bible and what He said. I’m coming up short with that all the time,” Goldschmidt said. “… [But] definitely, my goal is to make my faith in Jesus the center and most important thing in my life.”
– Gold Mine: Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt finds Jesus through love of others
– A Cardinal’s Perch to Preach – St. Louis Cardinals’ Christian Day at the Ballpark Event
– MAGAZINE: Veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright sets the Cardinal standard of excellence
– Cardinals Matt Carpenter shares his story of Sports and faith
– Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty credits teammates in helping him become more open about his faith