Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs' second basemen and left fielder, is the son of a pastor and an avowed Christian. He also is someone who just tied an obscure record with Babe Ruth by becoming the second player to have three hits in Game 1 of consecutive World Series baseball appearances. Additionally, he was named 2016 World Series MVP after hitting a go-ahead RBI double in the 10th inning of Wednesday night's Game 7 win over the Cleveland Indians.
"I feel pretty good," Zobrist told the Sporting News. "Obviously when you hit a few balls your confidence goes up and hopefully you can square a few more up. Hopefully that continues."
"Ben Zobrist is becoming my favorite baseball player," Cubs' catcher David Ross said. "Ben is just humble and asked to do so many things through the season. He played second base through most of the year and hasn't spent a day at second in the postseason."
Last year, Zobrist played for the Kansas City Royals, the winner of the 2015 World Series. He had six hits, including four doubles, and three walks in 26 visits to the plate. He scored five runs in five games and helped the Royals win the World Series.
Zobrist grew up in central Illinois where he was a star high school athlete. His father, Tom, was pastor of Liberty Bible Church in Eureka, reports Christian Index.
The Chicago Tribune reported, "Zobrist had planned to follow his dad, Tom, the pastor of Liberty Bible Church, into the ministry after graduating near the top of his class when he spent $50 of his birthday money to attend a tryout in nearby Peoria."
An Olivet Nazarene University coach then offered Zobrist a baseball scholarship, whereat he played baseball for three years and then transferred to Dallas Baptist University. The four-sport high school athlete developed enough all-around skills to be drafted out of Dallas Baptist University by the Houston Astros.
The Tribune reported: "There was the night Ben was drafted in 2004 and pledged to his clergyman father to 'represent God and be a missionary in baseball.'"
Zobrist's wife, Julianna, is a popular Christian singer with a successful career of her own. They bonded over their dedication to their faith and their hopes of raising a Christian family together.
Ross said Zobrist was the club's leader in this World Series. "He's a guy who you lean on who has been in this moment."