In a nation where it’s increasingly common for any given individual who openly states a belief in The Almighty to be greeted with eye rolls or sniggers, the man who was just named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the National League Divisional Series (NLDS) feels quite comfortable in proclaiming such. With the acceptance or rejection of the homosexual lifestyle still a hot button political issue, what may raise eyebrows of the secular-leaning is that the same MVP took heat recently when his personal opinion didn’t jive with what is considered politically correct.
As reported by Trent Baker of the new media Breitbart.com site, and also by Justin Sarachick of the BreatheCast.com news portal (Christian Media Corporation), both on Oct. 16, 2015, New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy matter-of-factly gave credit to God for bolstering his mental outlook, which in turn, was instrumental in his MVP caliber level of play. When the Mets took to the infield celebrating their 5th game victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Murphy was asked by an on-field MLB reporter Sam Ryan how he had managed such stellar play during the NLDS, he plainly stated, “That was all Jesus.”
Prior to his first Major League at bat in 2008, Murphy admitted he was so nervous he had to keep drinking Pepto Bismol to keep from throwing up. When asked about dealing with nerves during the NLDS, he said, “That’s the Holy Spirit…the only thing keeping me calm.” When in the visitor’s club house, Murphy found himself on-camera being interviewed by the hometown SportsNet New York network. With Murphy batting a blistering .333, slapping three homers and five RBIs which was instrumental in him being named series MVP, he was asked, “Why have you been able to so elevate your game?” to which Murphy replied, “I don’t know. Sometimes the blessings come, Jesus is good…”
Yet Murphy’s traditional Christian beliefs haven’t been without controversy. As reported by Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com on March 3, 2015, when MLB’s “inclusion ambassador” visited the Mets Spring Training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. prior the this year’s season, Billy Bean’s mission was to see how accepting the team would be to an openly homosexual player.
As Vorkunov reported, “Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a divergence in their beliefs. ‘I disagree with his lifestyle,’ Murphy said. ‘I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.'”
It was then that Murphy took a beating in the press. Joe Giglio, also of NJ.com, penned the following day that Murphy’s personal opinion “came across as ignorant and a step backwards for the sport.”
In an interview with Tony Rossi of Patheos.com, the reporter detailed the big leaguer’s conversion story. “With a .320 batting average at the start of August, 2011 was shaping up to be Murphy’s best season to date. Then it happened. Again. A knee injury ended his season early for the second time in two years. At first, Murphy understandably felt depressed about his bad luck. Then, God stepped in. Though Murphy was raised a Christian family, he did admit his belief was nominal.”
As Rossi penned, “The injury changed his perspective. ‘There were moments that led to me surrendering to the Lord. After that, I don’t want to say everything was easy because it isn’t always easy and prosperous. But there was a peace and joy I never experienced before…The Lord had knocked me on my back a number of times, and I had not answered. This time I finally decided to submit and give everything to Him.’”