Cubs' Dexter Fowler credits faith in God for dream career in major leagues

by Michael Foust |

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO (Christian Examiner) – The Chicago right fielder who led the team in on-base percentage this year and who became the first African-American to bat for the Cubs in a World Series is a Christian who says he wants to use his popularity to proclaim the Gospel.

"I know God put me on this platform to spread His Word," Cubs' right fielder Dexter Fowler said in a Christian magazine. "The best way I can share my faith is to lead by example and play with the joy He has given me as His child."

Fowler tied for 10th in on-base percentage in Major League Baseball this year (.393) in his second full season with the Cubs after a one-year stint in Houston and six years in Colorado, where he began his MLB career in 2008.

The Cubs last appeared in a World Series in 1945 and last won it in 1908. In '45, black players could play only in what was known as the Negro leagues. Fowler made history during Game 1 as the first black player to bat for the Cubs in a World Series.

Tonight against Cleveland, he and his teammates will try and deliver Chicago its first World Series title in 108 years.

"Playing this game is just a stepping stone on my journey through life with Him," Fowler, who is married and has a daughter, told FCA Magazine in 2014. "I pray that I embrace every opportunity that He puts in my path to share His message of salvation. And when I get weary because of the challenges and struggles in this life, I know that He is always there to renew my strength."

Fowler, 30, grew up in Georgia and credits his faith with giving him strength during the lonely days of the minor leagues. He turned down an offer to play in college to pursue his Major League dream.

"Without the support of my family and seeking the Lord's direction through prayer, it would have been much more difficult to decline the college scholarship offers and sign my first professional contract to begin playing in the minors," Fowler said. "I leaned on my faith in God, knowing He is never wrong and would be my steadying Rock as I left home to pursue my dreams.

"He was there through the struggles of the minors when I was asked to become a switch hitter. He was there when I broke my hand and had doubters wondering if I'd ever recover from the injury. He was there during surgery and rehab, and He was there on the flip side in 2008, when I was invited to play in both the All-Star Futures Game and for Team USA at the Beijing Summer Olympics. And He was there in my joy on Sept. 2, 2008, when I was called up to the Rockies to make my Major League debut."