On Twitter last night (or was it early this morning?), CNN Religion Editor Daniel Burke offered insight on the Cubs' righteous dude:
Of course, Zobrist's devoted Christian background is not news to faithful GetReligion readers or -- presumably -- Kansas City Royals fans.
We wrote about this last year when Zobrist helped lead another team to baseball's Promised Land:
A year later, the Kansas City Star's terrific piece on Zobrist the baseball player -- and the man of faith -- still makes for great reading.
Some of the crucial background from that story:
The night before Ben left home to join the Astros’ affiliate in Troy, N.Y., he told his father, “I’m going to be a missionary in the big leagues.”
And so he has, whether by organizing Bible studies with teammates or vigorously supporting the career of his wife, Julianna, a Christian singer, or just in how he carries himself.
“It’s not this blustery, dominating in-your-face kind of thing,” his father said. “It can be very gentle and quiet: the way you live your life, the way you treat your family, the way you treat other people …
“He lives his life and lets his actions speak.”
So is Zobrist's faith showing up in mainstream news reports on his 2016 World Series heroics?
Not a whole lot, as far as I can tell. And honestly, you probably wouldn't expect a parenthetical reference to his Christian beliefs in a game story on his big hit in the 10th inning last night.
But for journalists delving into Zobrist's heart and soul after the Cubs' first world championship in 108 years, that's an important angle to pursue. This New York Times story, for example, is certainly haunted:
At this point, I'm mainly seeing religious media references to Zobrist's faith from outlets such as the Christian Examiner and my own Christian Chronicle, where my colleague Chellie Ison highlighted a chapel talk by Zobrist at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., a few years ago.
The Tennessean does have a nice listicle-style feature on Zobrist -- who lives in the Nashville suburb of Franklin -- that mentions his religious background:
Ben was born and raised in Eureka, Ill. HIs father, Tom, was a pastor of Liberty Bible Church in Eureka. Ben played college baseball at Olivet Nazarene University for three seasons before transferring to Dallas Baptist University his senior season. He and his wife, Julianna, have three children: son Zion, 7; daughters Kruse, 5, and Blaise, 1. Blaise's middle name is Royal, named after the Kansas City team. She was born five days after Ben won the World Series with the Royals in 2015.
If you're still reading at this point, you really love baseball and/or the Cubs. So be sure to read our earlier post on Chicago Tribune's story on Cubs fans praying for their favorite team:
The Wall Street Journal had a nice recent feature, too, on the religious devotion of Cubs' fans:
My friend John Mark Hicks, who loves the Cubs, posted on Facebook earlier today:
Indulge me for a moment. Tied 6-6 at the end of 9, God sent the rain. God put the game on pause for meditation and then God decided who would win based on the fervent prayers of a righteous people.
He was joking, of course.
I'm not one to believe that God intervenes in the outcomes of sporting events. But just in case: Dear Lord, can my beloved and long-suffering Texas Rangers please be next?