Cishek talks faith, failure with Jefferson County HS Patriots
BY DAVE GENTRY with minor changes by Henry Luke
THE STANDARD BANNER Jefferson County, Tennessee October 22, 2013
The Jefferson County High baseball team received a somewhat unexpected visit last week in former Carson Newman and now Major League Baseball standout pitcher Stève Cishek. Also below clip from: “Tom Brady wonders if there is more to life than “simply” having it all and reaching the top.”
Cishek spent his first full year MLB in 2012 and was able to play in the World Baseball Classic prior to the 2013 season. Cishek told attendees that it was after the Classic that he had one of the worst months of his MLB career, finishing April with a 5.25 ERA.’
The former Eagle said that even his teammates began to notice a “lack of confidence,” in his performance on the mound. After a teammate confronted him one day, asking why he seemed like a “robot” on the mound, Cishek said he realized it was because he had forgotten what it was all about. “In the past I always went out there and put my faith in Jesus and whatever happened, win or lose, I was okay,” Cishek said, ‘This year I let all that stuff get in my head for no reason, and it took one of my teammates to come and confront me [for me to realize}.”
From there, Cishek said he began to carry a card in his back packet whenever he was on the mound that had Colossians 3:23 written on it — “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (NIV).”
After the inconspicous start, Cishek completely turned the season around, finishing the year with 34 saves, including setting the Marlins’ franchise record for consecutive saves at 29 (tied for third most a the. MLB). He finished the year on September 28 with a one-inning outing in which be received the win, lowering his ERA to 2.33 for the season, including a 0.96 ERA for the second half of the season. He pitched in 69 games earning 34 saves, while striking out 74 batters in 20l3.
“My love for the game was the same, but I went out there and put my trust in Him and relaxed,” Cishek said. “That allows us to compete for the right reason.” Cishek told the Patriots that the sport of baseball, and professional athletics in general, was sort of an anonialy in that everyone looks up to the players, but that most of them are very insecure with who they are.
“They’re living the high life, but for some reason there is something missing in their lives,” Ciahek said. A Massachusetts native, Cishek said that his favorite NFL quarterback, Tom Brady, had a quote that fit perfectly with that thought. “In a 60 Minutes interview, he said he felt there was more to life:’ Cishek said. “The guy that was interviewing asked him what he meant and he said he wished he knew. All these things he has, and all this success, and he has a huge void in his heart. I wanted to cry for the guy, the answer is right here in the Bible.”.
CBS clip with Tom Brady Short Interview at bottom of article.
Cishek then went on to tell his personal story of how he came to be a Christian. He said that while at Carson Newman, he had a friend named Bonnie who was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was always inviting him to go. During his sophomore year with the Eagles, Cishek said he was sitting in the dugout during an Orange/Blue intersquad game and a player hit a foul line-drive that hit him in the face. “I remember thinking after that, ‘what if that hit me in the temple, what if that hit me in the head,’” He said. “it scared me to death. I started going to FCA and sure enough one night I felt compelled to accept Jesus into my life. It was the greatest decision of my life.”
“Baseball is great, but there are far more important things in life. Baseball is such an awesome sport and in all honesty, God is allowing us to go and play this great game:’ he continued. “We have to be thankful tkankful for that and never take it for granted.”
Tom Brady CBS interview clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HeLYQaZQW0&feature=youtu.be