Former Major League Baseball player Manny Ramirez is best known as one of the stars of the 2004 Red Sox team that broke the “Curse of the Bambino” by winning the World Series and for his on and off-the-field antics which led to the phrase “Manny being Manny.”
Now, Ramirez sees the damage he created through many of his selfish actions, has apologized to Boston fans, and revealed that he came to faith in Jesus and has enrolled in seminary to study the Bible.
Ramirez’s comments appeared in a Boston Globe article about his being honored by the Sports Museum in Boston at its annual “Tradition” event. Ramirez said he was sorry for selfishly forcing the Red Sox to trade him to the Dodgers just before the trade deadline in 2008.
He also apologized for taking performance-enhancing drugs and for a 2008 incident in which he pushed 64-year-old traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground over an issue with tickets when the club played the Astros in Houston. (He told the Boston Globe that he apologized to McCormick for pushing him down soon after the conflict in 2008.)
In explaining his faith in the article, he said he “found God” and that “What I’m doing now, I preach. That’s what I do. Go into hospitals just to preach and teach the people the Bible.” He also explained that he enrolled in seminary “because I just wanted to learn. I’ve been doing that for five years now. It hasn’t been easy. It’s something great.”
Ramirez, who currently sits 15th on the all-time home runs list with 555, but while he is thankful for the experience, he knows it does not matter in light of eternity. He said, “When God calls, you should humble yourself and you can see. Like, I hit all those home runs and it doesn’t mean anything. It’s something that I really cannot explain.”
Describing himself as a “Reformed Baptist,” he has devoted himself to growing in the faith with the same vigor he brought to the baseball diamond. He said, “I’m growing. It takes time. It’s like playing baseball. If you want to be the best, you got to hit it every day. If you want to get to know God, you have to have a relationship with him.”
Manny lives in Miami with his wife Juliana. They have raised three boys, one of whom has graduated from college, the other two are still teenagers. In addition to his preaching in hospitals, Ramirez is listed as a board member with “Planted Ministry,” whose mission is to work for “a spiritual awakening across Latin America.”
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Manny Ramirez/Getty Images/Maddie Meyer/Staff