Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright invites fans to read through Bible in a year with him

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright extended an invitation Thursday to his Twitter followers: to join him in reading through the Bible in a year.

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“Hey everybody,” Wainwright’s tweet began. “This won’t be for everyone, but it’s an important part of my life.”

The 38-year-old MLB veteran, fondly nicknamed Waino, directed those interested in joining him in his Bible-reading journey to follow @walkingwwaino, a separate Twitter account Wainwright created just for this purpose. The account has only two tweets but already more than 7,000 followers.

Wainwright and all of those who’ve decided to join him will begin their year of reading the Bible together on Sunday.

Pouring into others is something Wainwright enjoys. He said in the Spring 2019 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine that he would likely have retired if it weren’t for the relationships he’d formed with the younger players and the experience he can pass along, both on the baseball diamond and in their faith journeys.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I didn’t feel so connected to this young group of pitchers coming up — and even the young position players, but especially the young pitchers — it would have almost been a no-brainer for me to walk away,” he said.

At one time, Wainwright himself was young pitcher, learning about professional baseball and growing in his own walk with the Lord.

“In 2002, I decided to go to a conference in Dallas, Texas,” Wainwright said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2017. “‘I really don’t want to be here, but I’m going to listen and we’ll see what happens.’ I just know that God had me there for a reason and I was meant to be there. Everything in my life led to that conference.

“During the night sermon, the pastor was preaching on the relationship that was meant to be with Jesus. And for whatever reason, God finally opened my ears and I bought in on the spot. As I was listening to him talk, it sunk in and it punched me right in the face, and it punched me so hard that I had to look around and make sure that I wasn’t talking to Jesus himself.”

Now with his Bible-reading initiative, Wainwright has encouraged thousands of others to experience the same closeness to God he did so many years ago. And even while he works to make an eternal impact for the Kingdom, Wainwright’s impact on the mound and in the Cardinals clubhouse will last for at least another year.

In November, he signed a one-year contract to return to the team in 2020. It will be his 15th major-league season, excluding the 2011 season he missed due to Tommy John surgery.

The Atlanta Braves selected Wainwright in the first round of the 2000 MLB Draft. His first MLB appearance came with St. Louis in 2005, and he has pitched for the Cardinals ever since. Over his 15-year career, Wainwright has posted a 3.39 ERA with 1,776 career strikeouts.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” — 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

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