Carlos Beltran: Dreaming Big!
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Carlos Beltran’s Career Highlights
“I want to be a baseball player when I grow up.”
Countless little boys share this big dream, but only a select few possess the talent and discipline to accomplish it. For Carlos Beltran, a quiet boy growing up in Puerto Rico, becoming a star in the Majors someday was more than just a dream. At an early age he showed great potential. By high school his talents as a five-tool player—fielding, throwing, hitting for average, hitting for power, and stealing bases—had attracted the attention of Major League scouts. After graduating in 1995, Beltran was drafted by the Kansas City Royals. His boyhood dream had begun to come true.
After being called up from the Minors in September 1998, Beltran was in the big leagues for good. He has since become one of the biggest names in baseball, fulfilling his childhood dream and bringing him everything that comes with the job—fame, money, and devoted fans.
“I want to have a better life.”
To most, these things would seem like enough. But Carlos discovered in himself a longing, a deep sense of wanting more. “I’d been feeling like I wanted to have a better life, and I found it in God,” he says. It happened one night in a Kansas City hotel room after a home game in 2001, when he was playing for the Royals. Former teammate Luis Alicea invited him to speak with a pastor who had flown in from Puerto Rico. Carlos and his wife, Jessica, had considered themselves good people—“I’ve always had a fear of God,” Carlos says. But having it all and being good people hadn’t given them peace with God.
That night the pastor explained about God’s holiness and love, and how our sinfulness separates us from God: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). He told how we could be forgiven for our sins because of Jesus Christ’s payment for sins when he died on the cross. As the Bible says, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The pastor invited the Beltrans to place their trust entirely in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and to receive eternal life. They did, right then. “It was the biggest decision that I ever made,” asserts Carlos. “It’s not that everything is perfect now, or that my wife and I don’t have struggles anymore. But it’s been easier going through it with Christ in our lives.”
“Everything I do is for God.”
Beltran’s reliance on Christ brings him peace and perspective when facing the challenges of a Major-League, major-money, major-pressure baseball career. “As soon as I come to the ballpark, I read my Bible. During the game, I think about what I read.”
Every time he steps onto the field, he also thinks about his favorite verse—“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He says it’s the truths found in that verse that give him the ability to do whatever God’s will is, both on and off the field. “The way I see it, everything that I do is for God. I feel He put me here for a reason. Every time I take the field, I tell Him, ‘I’m doing this in Your name.’”
Beltran continues to work hard to improve his game and play to his full potential, grateful that so many of his dreams have come true. Still, he remains focused on the life to come. “It’s after this life that matters,” says the centerfielder. “When I die, I know that I’m going to heaven because I accepted Christ and He lives in me. I believe, because I’m saved, that I’m going to spend eternity with God.”
Even talented, successful athletes like Carlos Beltran can find themselves feeling incomplete. That’s because we’re all incomplete without a relationship with Jesus Christ, who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). If you too feel something vital is missing from your life, you can invite Jesus to be your Savior in words like this:
Dear God, I realize that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me and grant me eternal life with You in heaven. Amen.
Edited and reprinted with permission of Sports Spectrum, a bimonthly magazine published by Sports Spectrum (www.sportsspectrum.com), Indian Trail, North Carolina.
© 2002 - 2006 Good News Publishers. Used by permission.