A two-time Major League Baseball Golden Glove winner is opening up about his Christian faith and how it transformed his life.
Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed, who won Golden Gloves in 2018 and 2019 for his superior fielding, said the spiritual turning point in his life came during a minor league game nearly a decade ago after he had been traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Diamondbacks.
"Back in 2013, I was struggling with a lot of different things in my life at that time. I was in a long-distance relationship with my wife, who was my fiancée at the time," Ahmed says in a new I Once Was video produced by Sports Spectrum.
"[I] was struggling with fitting in with a new team – I just got traded. And I struggled. I was dealing with failure on the field like never before," he says. "And every day, I just had this anxiety and fear and depression and worry about what the future might hold. All those events kind of led up to this one moment."
Ahmed became a Christian during a minor league baseball game in Mobile, Ala., he says.
"It's a super hot night in Mobile, Ala., at the end of May. And I stepped out in the field for that game that night. I had just finished my second strikeout," he says.
Typically, Ahmed would warm up for his defensive position by taking two or three ground balls between innings.
"And I didn't do that for some reason. I turned around, and I faced the outfield. And I just closed my eyes and prayed," he says. "And right at that moment, I asked God to come into my life and save me, and I just said, 'God, I surrender. I'm going to do life your way,' and I asked Jesus into my heart. And I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come in and flood me and give me a piece that I'd never had before – and I still have it with me to this day."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chris Coduto/Stringer
Video courtesy: ©Sports Spectrum
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.