Opportunity to Celebrate!

The San Francisco Giants celebrated my retirement from baseball with an on-field ceremony, and it was epic.

There are those rare, really special players that announce their retirement at the beginning of the season, and then all season long, teams give them farewell ceremonies when they come in for a series. We saw that with Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. But normally when a reliever retires, he just retires. So what the Giants did for me was overwhelming.

I had several reasons to retire. My body was hurting a little bit more than usual. I was missing my kids — and I mean I was missing them a LOT. I also felt like I wasn’t pitching the way I wanted to pitch.

I could have probably played another year, and maybe even two years. It would have been with several teams, I think. I would have bounced around a little bit, and I might have been with teams I didn’t want to be with. I just didn’t feel like doing that.

I had a lot of conversations with people in the Giants front office, and I got some pretty good advice. Some of it came from a man I respect quite a bit. He said to me, “You know what? Out of all the times you could retire, this is the perfect time, because you’ll be able to retire with the team you want to retire with.” He asked me, “How many more adrenaline rushes do you need in your career?”

I said, “I don’t need any more. I’ve got three world championships.”

He said, “Right. It’s time. And it’s okay. No one is going to be surprised about it. And even better,  no one is ever going to look at your retirement and call it a huge disappointment. You have had a great career, and you’re with the team you want to retire with. What if you go with another team next year? Then suppose they release you halfway through the year? Maybe you’re not pitching how you want to pitch, or maybe the season doesn’t go their way. Then they cut ties with you so they can bring up a younger guy and give him some big-league experience. So then you sign a one-day contract back with us, just so you can retire as a Giant. That does not make a whole lot of sense. What makes sense is to retire now, when you’re already with us.”

You know what else he said? He said, “You need to allow us to celebrate you.”

I wasn’t sure about that. I told him, “I don’t know if I want to be celebrated. You know, it’s kind of a lot of hoopla, and I’m not a big hoopla guy.” But he told me, “No, it helps bring closure. Let us honor you. Let us celebrate you a little bit, and you’ll be able to pay a little bit of respect to the people you want to pay your respects to.”

That was important to me. And it was overwhelming. The Giants were the team that I wanted to retire with, and they wanted to honor me.

More on this next time. See you Thursday.

2015 Fellowship Day

Matt Baquiran came out to Giants Fellowship Day this year, and shared an awesome recording of the event on YouTube.  Thanks to Matt, you can see and hear testimony from me and my wife Larisa, and Jeremy Camp! Check it out here:

Travis Ishikawa’s Faith

My teammate Travis Ishikawa testified at Giants Fellowship Day last August.

It’s so powerful! He testifies to staying in the Word, even when the outlook isn’t very clear.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

Stay strong and hope, because God has a plan. With Him, all things are possible!

See you Thursday.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

I had the opportunity to blog at Huffington Post this week.

Check it out here.

Thank you for reading!

And thank you for supporting your teams. We’re getting ready for Game 3, Friday night in San Francisco! See you Monday.

Feed the World!

Did you know that today is Game 5 of the NLCS?

Did you know that today is also World Food Day?

Did you know that one in nine people in the world do not have enough to eat?

A youth movement called 30-Hour Famine is working to raise money and awareness about global hunger. They go without food for a day, to fight for a hunger-free world.

When you read this infographic, you will bring these young people closer to their goal of raising awareness about hunger. All you have to do is read, and maybe explore this website. Reading honors their commitment, and helps change the world! Click the image for a larger size.

Feeding the World Infographic









Thank you again for supporting your teams! See you Monday.

Find Your Passions, Use Your Passions

Why do I love to play baseball? It’s because I believe in the principle that no man shall live for himself. My success can help other people succeed, and I find my joy in doing that. You can too! Watch this to learn more:

The NLCS continues tomorrow in San Francisco. Thank you for supporting your team! See you Thursday.