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Carroll a Christian among Marlins

With his “selfish” plan to excel in professional baseball crumbling, Brett Carroll said he soon discovered God's plan for his life would be diamond-related.

The Christian transformation of Carroll — former Bearden High School standout shortstop (Class of 2001), ex-Middle Tennessee State All-America third baseman and current Florida Marlins part-time starting outfielder — was the focus at a gathering in Farragut Saturday, Nov. 7.

Carroll, 27, spoke to about 20, including several children, during a 30-minute speech and question-and-answer session at Diamond Baseball Simcox Academy’s monthly Fellowship of Christian Athletes baseball chapel.

First moving up to the Major Leagues with Florida in 2007, Carroll said he was “saved when I was 10 years old.”

However, “Life was about me and baseball, I began worshipping the game so much ... the state of brokenness for me was when I realized my career was starting to become a joke, my dreams were starting to fade.

“That's when I pretty much fell to my knees and said, 'Lord, is [baseball] your will for me? To make it on in the big leagues and achieve my dreams? What I was doing wasn't satisfying. ... I tried to do it my way, I tried to do it on my own strength and realized it wasn't getting me anywhere.”

Carroll said his spiritual awakening started “about two years” into his professional career when God started “using baseball for my teammates in the clubhouse. ... 'Am I going to share the good news I have?'”

That “good news” hit home.

“Having a three-time all-star on our team watching another teammate and I for two years, kinda living it out in front of him, really started him to make changes in his life,” Carroll said. “That's not me ... that's God working through us all.”

However, “I get made fun of many times in the clubhouse,” he said. “But they will respect you for it. ... Some of them are crying out. It may not be in a way that's obvious. ... It's an opportunity to pour into their lives.”

Carroll said his faith helped him make peace with an injury in 2008 considered possibly career threatening: a separated right shoulder after colliding with the outfield fence. “They thought maybe I wouldn't be able to throw again ... but I had to be at peace with that because there's no promises.”

Carroll, with a .208 average and three home runs in two-plus seasons with Florida, said statistics and honors on the field “are temporary, they'll fade over time.”

Saying he'll face Christ on “Judgment Day” after this life, Carroll added, “I don't think he's going to care, or he's going to ask me, 'wasn't that a sweet home run against Randy Johnson?'”


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