The Cleveland Indians drafted Florida native Cody Allen in the 16th round in 2010, but Allen decided to play a season at High Point University to grow stronger after Tommy John surgery. The Indians selected him again the following season, this time in the 23rd round.
Allen quickly rose through four levels of the minors throughout 2011 and joined the Indians in July 2012, merely 13 months after signing. Since then, Allen has continued to rise in the ranks, becoming one of the Indians’ dominant closers.
He totaled eight postseason saves in 2016, playing a major role in the Indians’ miraculous run to the World Series and complementing Andrew Miller, one of baseball’s best relief pitchers.
But Allen credits his faith for his level-headedness throughout his magnificent climb in the major leagues and his terrific playoff performance.
“My relationship with Jesus Christ, that allows me to keep things in perspective,” Allen told CBN’s Shawn Brown after Game 2 of the World Series. “You don’t want to add pressure to situations. You walk away from it at the end of the day and you understand, this is a job, this is a game, this is something that I love to do, something that I’ve been extremely blessed to do, and a platform the Lord has given me to use to reach other people, and we understand that we are here for a purpose and that doesn’t include playing baseball, although baseball is a great honor and I’m glad to do it, that’s not why we are here.”
Allen’s perspective on life has led to a freedom on the mound, even on the world’s biggest stage and in one of the MLB’s most iconic World Series matchups, between the Indians and the Chicago Cubs.
“Just trying to prepare myself every day and stay grounded,” Allen told Beyond The Ultimate. “Just have confidence, and just pitch, go out there and just pitch. I understand that I’m gonna blow some games; I’m gonna blow some saves. I’m gonna go out there and be terrible sometimes, but you gotta be okay with that. Just kind of the handling the failure thing and showing up to the ballpark the next day knowing that it’s a new day, a new opportunity. Every day I come to the ball park, I want my actions and my words and my deeds to glorify God. I want people to see God through me…that’s my goal on a daily basis.”
This story was published in Sports Spectrum’s Fall 2016 print magazine. Log in HERE to view the issue. Subscribe HERE to receive four issues of Sports Spectrum a year.