Summer 2024

Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson dazzles on the diamond, rests in the 'love of Christ'

Shortstop Gunnar Henderson is quickly becoming the face of the Baltimore Orioles.

The 22-year-old is second in MLB with 16 home runs (behind only Houston’s Kyle Tucker and on pace to surpass Baltimore’s franchise record of 53 homers in a season) in just his second full year in the majors. He’s also accumulated 34 RBIs and a .271 batting average thus far as he’s led Baltimore to a 29-17 record and second place in the AL East.

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The left-handed hitter had homered in four consecutive games, until Baltimore’s matchup on Tuesday in St. Louis was suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning due to rain; the game was completed early Wednesday, a 3-1 Baltimore loss.

“I’m running out of adjectives, honestly. I need to start bringing a thesaurus when I’m getting interviewed about Gunnar,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Monday, according to “It’s unbelievable what he’s doing and how good he is in every single way. There’s not one thing that he’s not really good at, and he’s 22 years old.”

Orioles outfielder Kyle Stowers reiterated his manager’s comments.

“He kind of skipped the whole ‘I’m going to be OK at Major League Baseball’ and went straight for ‘I’m going to be one of the best players in Major League Baseball,’” Stowers said, according to The Baltimore Banner. “You’re just seeing him pick up where he left off, and you see the confidence he’s playing with. Man, he just competes and it’s fun to watch.”

Last season, Henderson won a Silver Slugger Award, earned a unanimous selection as American League Rookie of the Year, and led the Orioles to 101 wins and the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

In his Rookie of the Year acceptance speech, Henderson made sure to express his gratitude to God.

“First, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Henderson said. “Without Him, I wouldn’t be here tonight. I can’t thank Him enough for just blessing me with the ability.”

Henderson isn’t shy about telling others of his faith in Christ despite being so young. Before Baltimore drafted him with the 42nd overall pick in 2019, he had given his questions about his unknown baseball future over to his Father in Heaven.

“I’m not worrying about it too much,” Henderson told his hometown Selma (Alabama) Times-Journal. “We’ll just see what team and if God has that plan the right team will like me. God has me. He knows what’s going to come. I’ll just put my faith in Him and everything will be fine.”

Henderson describes himself as a “Child of God” in his Instagram bio, and he posted about his faith when he made his MLB debut on Aug. 31, 2022 (he appeared in 34 games in 2022, before his first full MLB season in 2023).


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Henderson has blossomed into a star on a team that is seeking to build upon last season’s AL East title. But these Orioles have bonded over more than just baseball — a number of them share a common faith in Christ. Teammates young and old participate in popular team Bible studies and well-attended Sunday chapel services.

“[To] be able to have guys you can lean on in that sense and be able to both have that love of Christ and be able just to coach each other and help each other along the way, it’s been really cool to have those guys that I can lean on, especially being in my first year,” Henderson told WJZ News at the end of last season.

The future is bright for Henderson and his Orioles as they continue to build something special on the diamond, yet the bond many of them have as children of God is eternal and inseparable.

Baltimore’s three-game series in St. Louis is expected to wrap up with Wednesday’s regularly scheduled game, set for 1:15 p.m. ET.

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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