Summer 2024

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto: 'The No. 1 thing I am is a follower of Christ'

Catcher J.T. Realmuto has been out of the Philadelphia Phillies lineup since Saturday, when he exited a 12-6 victory over the Miami Marlins in the eighth inning with hip discomfort. As he recovers from his hip/quad strain, his team has suffered in his absence.

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Philadelphia has averaged only two runs per game while going 1-3 over the last four games. However, a win on Tuesday night over the New York Mets gave the Phillies a 24-23 record. They sit four games out of the top spot in the NL East with 13 regular-season games remaining as Realmuto nears his return.

At the end of this season, his second with the Phillies since being traded from the Marlins, the 29-year-old Realmuto is expected to become a highly-sought-after free agent if he doesn’t reach an agreement with Philadelphia. The two-time All-Star (2018, 2019) is in his prime and one of the best catchers in baseball today.

Realmuto recently shared on the “Faith on the Field Show” how he has been able to keep perspective in the midst of contract negotiations and impending free agency.

“My wife (Alexis) and I constantly have this conversation that it’s not really worth it for us to think about or stress about or worry about because He’s already got a plan,” Realmuto said.

Later, he added, “Especially in today’s day, being able to fall back on that relationship with Christ, if that’s the center of your life, all these problems that you’re going through, all these worries that you have, always seem a lot smaller. You can always have faith in Him that he’ll be there with you to get you through that.”

Realmuto, who says he’s “Following Jesus Christ and chasing the dream!” on his Twitter bio, said he grew up going to church and knew who Jesus was, but it wasn’t until he was older that he fully understood it.

“I wasn’t necessarily on fire for Him,” Realmuto said on the podcast. “I wasn’t living for Him until I met [my wife].”

The couple has been married since 2016 and have two young daughters. Together, the family begins each day by playing worship music throughout the house and singing along.

“It’s extremely important to me in life to know that the first thing I am … before I’m a father, before I’m a baseball player, the No. 1 thing I am is a follower of Christ,” Realmuto said.

James 4:7 has been an especially powerful Bible verse in Realmuto’s life since his youth. He said it reminds him to stay humble while continually fighting to resist the devil.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7 (NLT)

“I kind of like that word, ‘humble.’ Just for me, growing up, it was always extremely important to me and my family just to stay humble in everything that you do,” he said, “just to know that nothing is possible without Jesus and the gifts that He’s given me. I know that I’m out there doing the work and hitting the ball but it’s all because of Jesus and what He gave me and the gifts that He’s blessed me with.”

The Phillies play at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in the second game of their series against the Mets. It has not been announced whether Realmuto will be in the lineup.

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