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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MLB, football, NBA, and music

Hi. First of all, an article about Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels planning to reach out to those effected by the wild fires in his native San Diego: (originally found at:

Here's a Christian article on former Major League pitcher Kent Bottenfield and the Christian music career that he started once his career was over. He has released two albums so far: "Take Me Back" in 2004 and "Back in the Game" last September. Here's the article:
. Here's his website:

Next, an article about Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith, a Christian, being awarded the Wuerffel Award which is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. The award was presented by former Florida and NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel, a Christian, and the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Here's what Smith had to say about receiving the award and about Wuerffel and some about Smith:

"I'm really honored. It's not just an award to me, it's about a person. He's someone I grew up watching and wanting to be like," said Smith. "I was raised in a Christian home by Christian parents and grandparents. He's lived his life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and that's something my parents have wanted me to do.

"This is the biggest thing (honor he could receive) just because of my knowledge of Danny Wuerffel and what this trophy represents," Smith said. "I was honored to be nominated and become a finalist. To be mentioned in the same sentence with those that have won it, or were even nominated for it, is probably one of the biggest accolades of my life, if not the biggest.

"There's no better person (than Danny Wuerffel) to model your life after, so I'm really excited."

In addition to Smith's achievements on the playing field and in the classroom, he is actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes having served as the Tulsa University FCA president the last three years.

He is a popular speaker and singer throughout the Tulsa area, and has participated in inner city ministry, and has been active in programs that educate young people so they can make positive choices about drugs and alcohol.

For more information, check out the Wuerffel Trophy website: Here's the article:

Staying with Wuerffel, here's an article from an interview with the former Heisman Trophy winner's advice for current Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, also a Christian, on what to expect with the Heisman Trophy show and activities. Tebow won the award last Saturday, with Wuerffel being there to congratulate him. The neat thing about Tebow and the Heisman was all the attention that it brought to Wuerffel too. Here's a quote from Wuerffel about Tebow:

FT [Florida Today]: What kind of a relationship have you built with Tim Tebow? He's said you guys talk from time to time.

DW [Danny Wuerffel]: I've been a big fan of Tim Tebow for a long time. He first came to a quarterback camp that I did years ago when he was an eighth or ninth grader. . . . He's certainly grown a lot since then. I really respect him a lot and we do get to visit from time to time. He's seems to be a very considerate, polite, Christian young man.

Here's the article: (originally found at:

Also, an article about Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, a Christian, who has decided to continue pitching for now instead of retiring:

Here's an article about Colts safety Bob Sanders, and the day that he spent at a elementary school in the Indianapolis area as part of the "NFL Take a Player to School" sweepstakes (includes video):

Next, instead of athletes who sing, an article about music artists in Nashville who are also baseball fans. MLB held its annual winter meetings in Nashville last week. Included in the article is one of my favorite Christian artists, Matthew West, but unfortunately he's kind of lumped together with country singers and the article doesn't even mention that he is a Christian singer instead, who actually sounds anything but country. Here's what it had to say about West:

Meanwhile, it was anything but a down year for the next music star we caught up with, singer-songwriter -- and diehard Chicago Cubs fan -- Matthew West.

"I'm a huge baseball fan in general, but I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and we were at the ballfield all the time," West told us. "We went To Wrigley Field non-stop."

West, who has three albums and countless writing credits with established Nashville acts, has a new CD, Something to Say, coming out in January. He said he played high school baseball and even got a letter from the Chicago White Sox, but once his dad got him a guitar, he never looked back.

That career choice paid off, and it came full circle last year when West performed the national anthem at Wrigley in front of his father.

"All these years of my dad taking me to the game, and this time I got to take my dad to the game," West said.

West said he was bummed out about the Cubs being unable to win the World Series again, and he acknowledged that next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the team's last title, but he said he liked the signing of Alfonso Soriano and the re-signing of staff ace Carlos Zambrano and has hope for the future.

Here's the article:

Here's an article about Bengals cornerback Deltha O'Neal helping to buy Christmas presents for foster children. Here's a couple of quotes about one of the foster kids involved, which I thought was neat:

Steven Foster, 10, couldn't wait to show O'Neal his wish list. Before O'Neal could grab a cart, Steven unfolded a page scrawled with eight items. He wanted everything from an mp3 player to "some hats."

O'Neal and Steven tooled around the sports gear aisle together, trying on batting gloves and testing bats. Then it was on to bikes, where O'Neal took a quick spin on a kids' model. ...

Steven diligently stuck to his list and found many things he wanted. The shopping event was only icing on other good news: he learned his adoption by his foster parents would be finalized today.

"This is the best Christmas ever," Steven said.

Here's the article:

Also, continuing with foster care, an article about White Sox 1st baseman Paul Kornerko and DH Jim Thome and their wives teaming up with their team to raise money for kids in the foster care system in Illinois:

Here's an article about Raptors rookie forward Jamario Moon's long road to the NBA. Moon is getting his first chance in the NBA at age 26, after playing in many pro leagues and elsewhere before and after not being drafted in the NBA draft. Here's a quote from him about it:

“I’m glad I went through everything I did,” Moon said. “I wasn’t ready for any of this at 21 years old, and who knows where I’d be now if I got drafted then? I’m thankful for everything God put me through.”

Here's the article:

Next, an article about Colts fullback Luke Lawton and other players that have gone from the team's practice squad to playing on the team. Lawton has gotten his most significant playing time this season, his fourth in the NFL, including scoring his first NFL touchdown a week ago Sunday. Here's a quote from him about being released by the Jets last year:

"I asked God if it wasn't meant to be, don't ever let me get another call," Lawton said. "Soon after that, the Colts called me, and God keeps his promises."

Here's the article:

Going along with that article, here's an article listing former NFL practice squad players who have gone on to play in the Pro Bowl. The list includes some Christians too: Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and Vikings fullback Tony Richardson. Another Christian former practice squad player included in the article is Lions quarterback Jon Kitna. Here's the article:

Also, an article about Bills tight end Kevin Everett and his recovery from a severe spinal cord injury. Doctors didn't even know if he would live when he was first injured earlier this season, but now he is walking some on his own. Here's a quote about what he's done in the past for kids in his hometown:

Everett had been active in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. Last summer, he hosted a football camp in which he charged no admission, handed out T-shirts and made sure every youngster had a ride to and from camp.

"He'd give you his last," said Kenny Harrison, who coached Everett in high school. "His biggest deal was making sure every kid that wanted to be a part the camp was able to be a part of it, no exception."

Here's the article:;_ylt=AkQilcrFYFNHMaknbtF1ASM5nYcB?slug=ap-bills-everettwalking&prov=ap&type=lgns.

Here's a good article from an interview with Tim Tebow. I'll be including many more articles about Tebow and the Heisman later this week. Here's this article:
Next, an article about Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin, a Christian, who re-signed with the team last week. Here's a couple of quotes:

... Aside from being a key performer, Timlin is also considered a spiritual leader in the bullpen. ...

With 44 career appearances in the postseason, Timlin ranks
fourth on the all-time list.

"That's the reason you play," Timlin said. "You want to play in the postseason. That's the fun part of the game. It's a lot of fun all year to play, and to play hard. You're there because you want to go to the World Series and Championship Series and you want to be part of the playoffs. That's what teams are remembered for, when they go to the playoffs and win. The reason I get better [in October]? I don't know. I've never really considered myself a pressure pitcher, but there's a lot of pressure in Boston to win. For some reason, God has given me the ability to do that. I've been doing it well."

Here's the article:

Lastly, an article on Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook, a Christian, signing a new contract with the team today:


savedinsports said...

Hi Rena, thanks for the head up on Tim Tebow! What an amazing kid. I'm so glad he won. I'll have to write a piece about him soon. Very exciting!

Rena Ball said...

Yeah, Tebow sounds like an awesome guy. I was glad to see him win the Heisman. It's exciting to see such an outspoken Christian like him be given a huge platform to speak about his faith.