They happened off the baseball diamond in PNC Park, Pittsburgh’s beautiful home field that sits on the Alleghany River and to the left as you come off the famous Roberto Clemente Bridge.
After a game on Aug. 1, with Pittsburgh’s skyline peering over his and other player’s shoulders as they sat and stood just off the field, Hurdle shared with fans during Faith Night how he starts every day by reading II Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
He doesn’t just read God’s Word for self-encouragement, he feeds off of that so that he can encourage and impact others—like those fans and people within the Pirates organization.
Some of that happens through encouraging quotes and stories that he sends through daily texts and emails to his players, coaches and front office staff as a way to impact those around him—motivating them not just on the field, but off the field, as well.
It’s one way Hurdle lives his life each day in front of his players, who he coached to the franchise’s first winning season, and first postseason, since losing the National League Championship series in 1992.
Winning on the field was a long time coming for the Pirates organization and is the reason why the 56-year-old Hurdle was named the National League Manager of the Year. That, combined with winning off the field in life, is the reason Sports Spectrum named Hurdle co-coach of the year in 2013.
By Brett Honeycutt
This story was published in the January 2014 Sports Spectrum DigiMag.