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Monday, March 5, 2007

MLB misc. and Lombardi Trophy

Here's some MLB articles. First, an article about Devil Rays shortstop Ben Zobrist, a Christian. Here's a quote:

The reality check came Aug. 15, his first big-league payday. They had been living paycheck to paycheck, with Ben taking home about $600 every two weeks as Julianna worked to further her Christian rock singing career. They were elated that the promotion to Triple A meant a raise to about $1,000 ("It was like our Christmas," Zobrist said), especially because the day he was to get his first check in Durham they were down to $32 in their checking account and debating whether they could afford to buy gas.

Better, he got a ticket to the majors. And two weeks later, a check for about $14,000.

"We were looking at this check like, 'Is this for real? Is it a play check or something?' " Zobrist said.

With a raise to nearly $400,000 this season (about $19,000 take-home pay every two weeks), Zobrist, who grew up modestly, the son of a minister in Eureka, Ill., is slowly getting used to having money. For the first time, he didn't have to work during the offseason "to make ends meet," though the kids he gave baseball lessons to and supervised birthday parties for at the Showtime Sports Academy for $25 an hour might have missed him.

Here's the article: (originally found at:

Here's a good story about Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and his mom and grandma being allowed to join him in the U.S. after emigrating from Cuba: (originally found at:

Next, a quote from Cubs pitcher Mark Prior about retired Cubs player and current Cubs radio broadcaster Ron Santo's bid for the Hall of Fame on the Veterans' Ballott. Unfortunately, he didn't get in. Here's the quote:

"...I think we'll all be praying for him because he deserves it."

Here's the article:

Here's an article about Braves minor league pitcher Jonathon Johnson, a Christian. He's another guy to root for who is trying to make a Major League roster this year. He's had a few "cups of coffee" in the Majors before, but wasn't successful. Here's a quote from after his last bad stint in the Majors with the Astros in 2003, after which he retired from baseball to become a realtor:

The son of a minister and deeply religious, Johnson prayed for a long time that night. "Why aren't things just happening easy for me?" he asked himself. "Why do I keep hitting a wall when I get to the majors?"

Instead of accepting another demotion to the minors, Johnson decided it was time to report to the real world.

"It's tough to go home and be content and be happy — no matter how strong your faith is — when you continue to feel like such a failure in the world's eyes," he said.

Johnson built his real estate business to a point where he now has 15 agents working for him. He expanded his ministry work with twice-a-year trips to Cuba, where he spread the faith through baseball.

Here's the article:

Also, an article about Cubs closer Ryan Dempster and what he and his wife did to brighten Father's Day for some kids whose dads were away with the military:

Lastly, my mom and I were able to go see the Lombardi Trophy last Saturday on part of its tour. It's the trophy given to the Colts after they won the Super Bowl. It was at a local middle school gym. We had to wait for about an hour, half of it outside in the freezing cold with a strong wind blowing. It was entirely worth it to get our pictures taken while touching the trophy.

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