The Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson helped his team win Game 4 of the World Series Saturday and then told a national television audience how his faith in God has given him peace amidst difficult circumstances.
Swanson's solo home run in the seventh inning tied the game and sparked a rally that lifted the Braves to a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros.
Swanson, who plays shortstop, told a Fox TV audience that his Christian faith kept him grounded when he was traded from Arizona to Atlanta in December 2015 – only six months after being selected by the Diamondbacks as the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
"I'm just so thankful to be here," a smiling Swanson said. "I really can't say it enough. Being traded over here – at the time, I didn't understand it. But God's always got a plan. And if I've learned one thing is having faith in that plan will never fail you. And it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me."
Swanson, who grew up in Georgia and played college baseball at Vanderbilt University, said he's enjoyed living in his home state.
"Being here, being able to see my family as much as I do, watching my nephews grow up. If I didn't get traded here, I would never have ever met Mallory," he said of girlfriend Mallory Pugh, a professional soccer player. "I mean, you just start stacking things on top of each other, and it's truly a blessing to be here in this city. I love this city. I'm a diehard Falcons fan. I'm a diehard Hawks fan. And obviously, I'm a diehard Braves fan."
Atlanta leads the best-of-seven series 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.
The Braves are trying to win their first World Series since 1995. They were swept by the New York Yankees during their last World Series appearance in 1999.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Elsa/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.