It felt good to walk off the field for the last time. It was emotional, but it felt good. I felt very blessed.
The first time I ever got to be a part of a World Series, it was with the Colorado Rockies. So it was pretty awesome to be able to end my career against them. They were a big part of my story. A huge part of my story, actually.
The Giants had a lot of competition with that team, so I faced a lot of those guys a lot of times. I felt like I had faced Carlos Gonzalez about eight gazillion times in the last few years. You know, he beat me a few times, and I beat him a few times, so overall it was a cool deal. On my last day, in my last game, I made my final out against Carlos.
He flied out to center. When the ball was caught, and he was walking off, Carlos stopped, and he yelled out my name. I looked over at him and he took his hat off. He tipped his hat to me. I think that was pretty awesome. My wife said that it’s one of the coolest things she’s ever seen.
I was having a hard time that morning. Just thinking about what that day meant was rough. It was giving me a hard time. I cried quite a bit coming into the ballpark. I didn’t know how I was going to get through the speech! But I did, and it’s because the Holy Spirit was definitely there. I think He was the one guiding me in my speech, and helping me choose my words. He guided me in how I was talking and how I was reflecting. And I think He was giving me calm. He was the one right there with me, letting me know it was okay. I think the Spirit of God was on it all.
It meant so much to me, just knowing that Jesus was standing there with me the entire time. He had His arm around me, just saying, “This is good.” That gave me a lot of peace. Jesus made it possible for me to be able to do what I did on my last day as a professional baseball player.
Jesus was there with me that day, but He has been with me the whole time. He was there with me throughout my entire career. He was always there. We had to walk through some pretty rough passes, we really did, and I couldn’t have done it on my own. He had to walk me through them. So being able to understand that He held my hand the entire time, through my entire career, knowing exactly how it was going to end, is something that I found very comforting.
Jesus also knows exactly how things are going to go after my career, and I find that comforting as well. It’s time to move on. I’ll have something to say about that next time. See you Monday.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year! Be blessed!