Spring 2021 Magazine

Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado sees God's bigger picture in earning MLB accolades

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado isn’t a huge fan of people talking about everything he’s accomplished on the diamond. From Arenado’s perspective, they’re not really his accomplishments at all. When the 29-year-old thinks about the five All-Star selections, seven Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger awards he’s accumulated in his career, his reaction is gratitude.

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“This game is really hard, but I do realize how fortunate I am to play this game and I know how blessed I am,” Arenado said this week on the Table Forty podcast hosted by Matt and Leslee Holliday. “I always have a hard time when people say ‘you’ve done this’ and ‘you’ve done that.’ I’m like, ‘It’s not really me, to be quite honest with you.’ I know I’m out there doing it, but God blessed me with health to do it. It’s a way bigger picture for me.”

Arenado credits his parents with instilling the values in him that made the 2009 second-round pick the person he is today, including his faith in Christ. The current social climate makes Arenado even more appreciative of the way he was raised.

“The way I look at things now is because of [my parents] and I’m very thankful for that,” he said. “The structure of faith has been huge, especially now: how to treat people with respect and love and it just seems like we’re getting away from that. And I’m very thankful that they made sure that I didn’t forget those things.”

Since making his major league debut in 2013, Arenado has learned to lean on God through the grind of a baseball season. Five straight seasons with at least 37 home runs and 110 RBIs doesn’t make him immune to the slumps that are simply part of being a professional baseball player.

Arenado has come to realize the best way to navigate the rough patches is by putting them in God’s hands. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect at doing it, though.

“I’ve really had to rely on my faith in God to get me through a lot of times where I’m like, ‘Dude, I just don’t know what I’m going to do,’” Arenado said. “I’ll hit as much as I can and those aren’t the answers. The answer is to pray and give it to Him. I lose sight of that sometimes in this game.”

For now, he is waiting like everyone else to see if/when Major League Baseball will play a season in 2020. If it does, Arenado will have a chance to lead the league in RBIs for a third time in six years. But whatever honors he picks up in the future will allow Arenado to continue redirecting the praise he receives to Christ.

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