Men Of God Spotlight :: Jamey Carroll

Editor’s Note: This article is apart of content that was published from 2005-2010 under the direction of Jason Wenell. In March 2012 Darrell and Allison Vesterfelt became the new owners of Prodigal Magazine. Check out the new vision and direction of the publication.

MEN OF GOD SPOTLIGHT :: JAMEY CARROLL
This issue’s Men of God Spotlight focuses on a man who has understood that the Lord is moving him for a reason and will look to see what the Lord’s plan is for him in this new environment. This issue’s spotlight shines on Jamey Carroll. I caught up with Jamey at Spring Training and we sat outside and talked for a few moments about baseball and about the Lord.


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Some people stay in the same places all of their life, never departing from that place they called home since their childhood. For others of us, we are placed in certain areas for just a time and then the Lord chooses to move us on to another place, wanting to use us to help others in a different location. We have to learn to deal with changes as we are moved around but we take comfort in the guiding hand of the Lord, understanding that He has opened the doors that we are now entering.

This issue’s Men of God Spotlight focuses on a man who has understood that the Lord is moving him for a reason and will look to see what the Lord’s plan is for him in this new environment. This issue’s spotlight shines on Jamey Carroll. I caught up with Jamey at Spring Training and we sat outside and talked for a few moments about baseball and about the Lord.

His Life

Jamey grew up in the state known for its’ love of basketball; the state of Indiana. He would grow into a baseball player and would be drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 14th round of the draft. It was during his time in the minor leagues that he would find the Lord and would surrender his life to something incredibly larger than he could have ever imagined.

Q – Can you tell me your testimony?

“For me, the big change was in 1999 when I was playing in AA in Harrisburg. I was going through the typical mess of life and I was walking out to the batting cage, which was on the other side of the parking lot. I saw a guy in the middle of the parking lot and I as I was walking by, he said, “Hey, how are you doing today?” I was like, “Just fine.” I was struggling with the game and struggling with the typical life stuff and I thought at the time that, when I looked him and said I was fine, I knew that I wasn’t. I was frustrated with a lot of things. I went and hit and then I came back in. Right when I came back in from hitting, he said to me, “We’re having our baseball chapel that we have every Sunday.” I said, “You know, I’ll go today and see if there is something that can just lighten my mood or get my mind away from baseball.” I walked to the dugout where we had it (chapel service) and sure enough, the guy that I had told that everything was fine, he was the chaplain there. I thought that was a pretty cool thing. I listened to his message that day and it was about being frustrated with life. I felt like it hit me in the forehead. It all came together at that time!”

The Game

Jamey would climb through the minor leagues and reached the big stage for the Montreal Expos. He would score the final run for the Montreal Expos before they relocated to Washington. In 2006, he moved to the Colorado Rockies, where he would be part of the team that made the World Series run in 2007. At the end of the season, he was moved to Cleveland, joining a team that stood one game away from the World Series the previous year.

Q – What are your expectations for this year?

“Obviously, coming over, this is my first season here, last year (Cleveland) winning 96 games, it’s to build on that. To be a contender and playing in October; I think that’s reasonable.”

Q – What is the highlight of your career thus far?

“I had a younger brother that was in the minor leagues when I was playing with the Expos and I was going into my first full season. He got called up to play in a Spring Training game and it was the first time that both of us had played on the field at the same time together in a game in our lives and that came in a Major League Spring Training game. We got to turn a double play together; he was playing second and I was playing short. We were getting beat nine or ten to nothing but for us, it was a special moment. To be at that level and to be able to do it together, in a sense, was a dream come true.”

Q – In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of being a Christian in Major League Baseball?

“I think it’s not getting caught up in the pressures and in the stresses of the game, worrying so much about doing good, worrying about what the media’s going to say or worrying about the person who is behind you fighting to take your job. I think you can get caught up in that and look at this game in the wrong way and stay for the wrong reasons. I think it’s difficult staying positive because this game is a game of failure and it’s challenging because it’s such a long season.”

Q – Will Major League Baseball get beyond the Clemens trial and Barry Bonds scandal?

“I think so. It’s a game that’s been through a lot. It’s a game that has been challenged but it’s been America’s pastime. We keep going out and we’ve made incredible improvement through what the union has done and what the owners have done and I think it’s really getting to where everybody knew that it should be. I know that even through the strike times, the fans have been frustrated but they seem to come back because it’s the game of baseball and they take pride in it. When anything bad happens, it takes awhile to bounce back. The players know that it is all about the fans.”

Q – How has faith influenced your career?

“I’m understanding the what the platform is of this game with the pressures, traveling, and being away from family and the stresses that go with that as well as playing. I think my faith has helped me with the mindset of how to tackle everyday like when you’re tired or you aren’t playing well, as well as when you are playing well. (It’s helped with) Being able to schedule and handle things; do they need to be important or do they not need to be important? It’s helped me to put that into perspective. To me, that can be influential because you can easily get away from one, what it is that you’re doing and two, what it is that’s important. It’s allowed me to breathe.”

Q – For a ballplayer, what is the hardest part of moving to a new team and a new city?

“I think it’s just dealing with change. You’re not sure how to go about it. I always feel like I always prepare for what situation lies ahead and when you go somewhere different, you don’t know how to prepare for it and you have to go and fit in. And now, not only is it a change for me, but it’s a change for my wife and family too; there are transitions for them. But yet, this is the second time it’s happened, and I’ve learned to go and be yourself. It’s been an easy transition (to Cleveland) because of the quality guys here and the quality people in this organization.”

His Insights

Jamey has come through in some clutch situations in his life and has stood in the midst of thousands of onlookers who have cheered for him to succeed on the field. I wanted to see his perspective.

Q – When was a time where you felt the closest to God?

“I’d probably say it was a little over two years ago when my mother passed suddenly. Obviously, in tragic time, you lean on God more than I think you usually do, which obviously you shouldn’t wait for something like that to happen. Going through a period of time, it was in the off-season, where I got to spend two quality months with my dad and we were just trying to figure out why and what we were supposed to get out of this. I think that was a time for not only me but my family that was very pivotal. My older brother gave his life to Christ shortly thereafter and my dad did the same. It was a time where I felt like it was a dark time but you get very uplifting time because without having that presence in our lives, I don’t think we would have gotten through it as well as we did. We got asked a lot about how we were doing and we all had the same feeling that we were doing better than we thought we would. I think that’s because, during that time, we talked about it, we broke it down, and we put it in a sense of God and really leaned on Him at that time.”

Q – Why God and not one of the other religions?

“Because He’s given me a pathway to heaven and I truly believe that. What He did for me allows me to get into heaven and allows me to know that I’ll be able to see my mom again. Having somebody to allow that to happen for me, to die on a cross, it’s so meaningful that I can’t imagine going anywhere else!”

Jamey and his wife welcomed a set of twins into their family only days after I talked with him. As he spoke of the upcoming births, you could see a spark in his eyes, understanding the gift that God was blessing him and his wife with. He has been moved to a new place where God is going to use him to leads others to holiness. Jamey sees this as an opportunity, an opening of a door that only God could have opened. With God in control of his life, he is no longer in bondage of the pressures that most others are; he is free.