The last few seasons haven’t gone how Luke Weaver had hoped. After being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, the 28-year-old pitcher has seen his share of challenges.
In the first week of this season, he found himself on the 10-day injured list with elbow inflammation — the third time in the past four seasons he’s been sidelined with an arm injury. In the dugout and on the field, though, he’s choosing to make it clear what helps him through the ups and downs of baseball: his faith.
Partnering with glove manufacturer Aria, Weaver now sports the “Bible Glove” — a custom mitt he designed to look like an “old-school Bible,” with artwork and verses throughout the glove, which is made of dark brown leather to mimic the aesthetic of a Bible.
In an environment where athletes are finding more ways to express their personality, this is how he’s choosing to show his, he said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in March.
“It’s just a way where I want to be able to show the world that in the midst of that battle and the competition and the personality and expression, this is what I choose to do,” Weaver said. “In doing this, I hope more kids can wear a glove like I’m wearing and to wear it in their travel ball and their Little Leagues and their high schools and their colleges, to one day just be like, ‘Hey, I’m using a glove that helps me play this game, but I’m also expressing who I am and I love every second of it.’ If someone wants to ask about it, guess what: Now we get to talk about it.”
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Weaver experienced success as a starting pitcher in St. Louis during the early part of his career, after being selected in the first round by the club in 2014, but the health issues have hindered his ability to put together consistent stretches of success in Arizona. He was recently moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen at the end of spring training, and his role once he returns from the injured list is still to be determined.
He said on the podcast that he’s not blind to the pressure that comes with pitching in the major leagues.
“I don’t care who you are, if you’re not putting up results, the weight of the world feels like it’s crushing you,” Weaver said. “You know how easily it could be taken away. It’s a ‘next man up’ kind of thing. They’ll always find somebody better, or not even better, just someone to fill [your spot] until someone produces that role. It’s ever-changing. You’re just an interchangeable piece.”
He designed this glove as a way to share his faith and have conversations with people about it, but also as a way to constantly remind himself — in good times and bad — of the truth that exists in God’s Word.
The glove is covered in artwork similar to what many Bibles have on the spine, and there’s a cross right above the finger hole. On the back of the glove, on one finger, reads “HIS GLORY,” and in the palm is an indentation of a crown of thorns. Inside the glove on the fingers reside three different Bible verses and their messages:
– Matthew 19:26: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
– Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
– 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
As an athlete, Weaver said he wants to be the best version of himself, and he believes that’s through Jesus.
“Those are the type of verses that, in the midst of the battle where I’m wearing this glove, I can look down and be reminded of how He calms the storm,” Weaver said on the podcast. “I’m the one freaking out in the boat saying, ‘Help me, help me, help me,’ and He’s saying just, like, ‘Dude — chill'” (see Mark 4:35-41).
Weaver actually debuted the glove toward the end of the 2021 season in what he described as a “soft launch,” where he wore it for his final few starts. But he was ready to really unveil it this season. A portion of any sales of the glove will go back to charities, Weaver said.
He is expected to return from the IL any day now, and when he does, it will be with his Bible glove.
“What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to show the world that Jesus is where the personality comes from and [what] it is rooted in,” Weaver said.
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