As the son of former MLB All-Star Dante Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette is keen on blazing his own path instead of riding the coattails of his father’s success.
Dante played for 14 years in the majors, most notably for the Colorado Rockies but with several other teams as well. During his MLB career, he amassed 274 home runs, with a career-high and league-leading 40 during the 1995 season.
Because of his father’s success, Bo has felt the pressure to live up to his family name. However, despite this pressure, he regards his father’s experience as a blessing.
“Growing up, the target was always on my and my brother’s backs,” Bo said recently in an interview with Sport Spectrum’s “Table Forty” podcast. “For me, I like to look at it as a positive. My dad brings a lot to the table. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. He taught me so much so early in my career.”
This is Bo’s third season in the majors, but he has only played 129 games through Wednesday. He was brought up from the minors during the 2019 season, and then COVID-19 reduced the 2020 season. Despite his limited professional experience, Bichette has already shown glimpses of his potential. He has recorded 27 home runs and 156 hits, including a two-run triple in the ninth inning Wednesday, helping the Blue Jays walk off the Marlins.
✨ Hocus FLOWcus ✨
Your lead has DISAPPEARED 😯 pic.twitter.com/I3YnPi44R9
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 3, 2021
Bichette credits his faith as something that helped him cope with being compared to his father.
“I think that when you get that relationship with God, you can put things in perspective a little bit more, that really the only thing that matters is the effort you’re putting in, the person you’re being, things like that,” Bichette said.
"There's one person you're play for. You're playing for an audience of one."@BlueJays SS Bo Bichette joins us on our Table Forty podcast to share how important his faith is to him as an athlete and a person!https://t.co/VlxCLmxnoc pic.twitter.com/azespZrU01
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) May 18, 2021
Bichette says his relationship with God has had a major impact in how he lives his life. In his Instagram bio, he references Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Bichette explained why this verse is so important to him.
“Anybody can relate to (Philippians 4:6),” he said. “I deal with anxiety, nerves and everything just like everyone else does. When you rely on yourself to get over those things, it doesn’t always work.”
Bichette also spoke about a friend of his in the minor leagues named Nash Knight, who was sent down to a lower level. When he left the locker room, he placed a devotional in Bichette’s locker. This taught Bichette an important lesson: “Doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you still got to treat people right.”
One of the key things Bichette has learned through baseball is that success in the sport is not the chief goal in life. This mindset of obsessing with his performance controlled his life until he finally defeated it.
“There is more to life than whether I get a hit or not. I did so well on the field for so long … maybe I got a little full of myself,” Bichette said. “But when I went through the struggles, what happened was when I got home, it was all I could think about …
“One day I was like, ‘I’m not going to allow what I do in my work, how I perform in my work, to affect if I’m happy or not. And then I had to figure out how to be happy when I’m not doing well.”
As Bichette continues to grow in his faith as well as on the baseball field, the Blue Jays are 29-25 and in fourth place in the American League East, only 4.5 games back. They take the field again Friday against Houston in their temporary home in Buffalo, New York.
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