Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist: 'We all need Christ'

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO (Christian Examiner) – Ben Zobrist, a utility player who has helped propel the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series appearance in 71 years, is also an outspoken Christian who has used his platform to proclaim the Gospel.

Zobrist has started every game in the World Series and is listed as a second basemen, although he has played five positions for the Cubs this year and seven of the nine defensive positions since his first Major League Baseball game in 2006. He spent most of his career in Tampa Bay before splitting time with two teams in 2015 and then signing with the Cubs for 2016.

His on-base percentage ranked 13th this year in MLB at .386, although it has been his off-the-field actions that has attracted many fans.

"We know that as a Christian athlete, people are watching, and so we want to be the best example we can be and show that we are different – that Christ has changed our lives," Zobrist said in 2013 during an interview with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. "But at the same time, I want people to know that grace is for everyone. We all need grace. We all need Christ."

Zobrist's walk-up song this year was an up-tempo contemporary Christian song ("Alive") by his wife, singer Julianna Zobrist. Their 2014 book, "Playing With Purpose" (B&H), details their career and faith journeys.

Zobrist's father is Tom Zobrist, the senior pastor at Liberty Bible Church in Eureka, Ill., and he played college baseball at Dallas Baptist. His Twitter account says he's a "follower of Jesus Christ."

He's made the All-Star team three times and won a World Series title in 2015 while playing for Kansas City.

"The biggest things is, I'm still learning," Zobrist said in the FCA interview, referencing his faith. "I still have a lot to learn about what the love of Christ is like – that it's not just knowledge ... but it's allowing the truth to change you – allowing Christ's message of grace and hope and love through the cross, that that message is the message that changes the way we look at everything in our lives."