PLANO, Texas — World Series champion Evan Carter said he will never get tired of hearing that title from being a part of the Texas Rangers team which captured baseball’s ultimate prize in 2023, but the title he much prefers is a “dedicated sharer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“It really comes down to what is important, and to me, I want to use this platform to share to a lot of people,” Carter said. “God works in awesome ways and I want people to know that.”
Carter spoke to 2,100 men Friday night at Prestonwood Baptist Church outside of Dallas at the 2024 Awaken Men’s Conference, his first large-scale speaking conference since helping the Rangers win a World Series title in October as a late-season rookie call-up.
“I grew up in little church in Tennessee where if we had 100 people in church it was considered a big day, so this is really something,” Carter said.
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Since joining the Rangers as an outfielder in September when starter Adolis Garcia was injured, Carter became known for wearing his blue “Jesus Won” T-shirt nearly every day. He received it from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in spring training, and proceeded to do dozens of interviews wearing the shirt.
“It was just the shirt I was wearing almost every day, but my favorite part was when people would ask me what it means. I was able to tell them ‘Jesus won’ because He overcame sin and death,” Carter said to loud applause from the men, dozens who were wearing the same shirt.
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Carter, 21, said his path was not always smooth, as it’s not for many believers. COVID canceled all but two of his high school games of his senior season. He was in Florida for a post-school tournament when the Rangers talked to him about playing minor league baseball instead of playing at Duke, his original plan. They ended up drafting him in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Elizabethton (Tenn.) High School.
“With COVID, it got a little uncertain, but when you have something to say about what you love, He will always give you a way to reach out and spread the Word of God. You never know what God is going to do, so don’t give up on your dream,” Carter said.
Darryl Strawberry — who helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series title in 1986, followed by two more with the New York Yankees in ’98 and ’99, before falling victim to highly publicized struggles with drugs and alcohol — also spoke at Awaken. He encouraged his young friend to avoid the troubles which derailed his career.
“Congrats young man, but I would encourage you to stay with God,” Strawberry told Carter. “Baseball will give you ups and downs, but God will always give you a truer life.”
Despite his title of “world champion,” Carter said Christians must always be bold to share the Godly life which is within them.
“I think it’s getting increasingly hard to step out in today’s world,” he said. “It’s a little awkward for me to ask a guy who is 20 years older if he wants to go to chapel, but that’s the platform God has given me and for all of us. We have to share God’s love with other people and not take it for granted. For me, my life is bigger than baseball and this platform is great.”
Carter was joined at Awaken by his wife, Kaylen, whom he met in elementary school in Tennessee, along with Rangers third base coach Tony Beasley, a fellow believer, and Rangers team chaplain Mason Randall.
“It was really cool getting on this team this fall and seeing how we can play for one another,” Carter said. “To us, life is bigger than baseball, it’s for God.”
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