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Jamey Carroll: Playing for an Audience of One

By Shawn Brown
The 700 Club The Washington Nationals are off to an explosive debut this season. The team is currently battling it out for first in the NL East and could make it to the playoffs. Infielder Jamey Carroll is a major part of the team’s success with his aggressive, yet crowd pleasing playing style. But according to this native of Evansville, Indiana, he says his “style of play” isn’t to please the crowd, but Someone Else.

“If I can be a light in this field that somebody in the stands can see Christ through me, that’s truly the reason I go out and I play for Him,” he says.

Jamey says that wasn’t always his goal. Before he made his big league debut in 2002, life in the minors was a bit different.

“I was playing hard for personal glory and personal satisfaction.”

On the field, things seemed to be going well, but off the field, Jamey was frustrated. He was in his late 20s and still playing minor league ball.

“Baseball’s not an easy life,” he confesses. “You’re away from you family; you’re away from the people that you love. It’s very tough to stay on top of it mentally. You’ve got the media; you’ve got the people you’re playing in front of, and it’s easy to get caught up in all of that. To put the pressure all of a sudden on yourself to get a hit, to make the play… it makes for a tough situation, and [at] that time I had no one.”

One day after batting practice, he had a strange conversation with a man in the parking lot. He asked Jamey how things were going, and…

“I looked him right in the eye and said that things were going great,” he recalls. “I knew I was going through some personal struggles, and as I walked back in the clubhouse, it was time for baseball chapel. I figured that day I’ll go see what there is to offer and sure enough, when I walked in, the baseball chapel leader was the guy that I met in the parking lot.”

After the sermon Jamey realized that something was missing. So he gave his life to the Lord.

“I realized that’s what I needed in my life to make a change,” he says. “It makes you have a different mindset where things are more at ease. [You] know that the trials and tribulations that you go through -- with Him in your life -- you can handle these situations that you think are beyond comprehension. Now I go out and play for His Glory and His honor.”

Some say that Jamey Carroll’s never-give-up attitude makes him one of Major League Baseball’s hardest working players. But for Jamey, it’s not just an attitude; it’s a way of life.

“I want to work hard because He gave me this opportunity. He has blessed me with this chance to serve Him,” he says. “The only way I know how to pay Him back is to play as hard as I can while I have the opportunity. I’m not blessed with the best speed in the world. I’m not the biggest size but I truly believe God blessed me with a big heart. I wouldn’t be here without Him.”

Which is true, when you considering that Jamey was only added to the team simply because they were one man short of a full roster. Since joining the team, Jamey has proven he is a major asset to the Nationals.

“Looking back at everything that’s happened in my career, I truly believe I’ve been extremely blessed with the situations and how things have come about for me,” he says. “Philippians 3:13, ‘You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.’ Now I can just go out and perform for Him instead of trying to make things happen for me.”

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