It’s been a long journey to his first World Series for Astros’ Venezuelan catcher, Robinson Chirinos, who spent 11 years in the minor leagues before getting called up to the big leagues in 2011.
Despite it being his eighth big league season, 2019 was Chirinos’ first as a member of the Astros after spending most of his big league career with the Texas Rangers.
As a member of the Rangers in 2014, Chirinos did an interview with MLB.com where he detailed the day he made a lifelong commitment to God. That day was March 11, 2012. Chirinos said he felt like he had a conversation with God that morning.
"He talked to me — and that morning, I really felt Him in my heart,” Chirinos said in the interview. “It was hard to run away. I'm not like other people who had people talking to them about God. It wasn't like other people talking to me about God; it was Him. It was something I never forgot."
That afternoon, Chirinos suffered a concussion when a batted ball was fouled off his facemask in a preseason game as a member of the Tampa Rays. That concussion kept him out the entire 2012 season.
During an Astros' Faith & Family Night held in April, Chirinos explained to the crowd that 2012 was one of the best years of his life because his relationship with Christ was "growing every day."
"I start reading the word. I start praying. I start going to church. In the word, I find hope and belief that it was going to get better," the catcher said. "So many people in baseball said I was not going to play the game anymore and that no one was going to give me the chance to play baseball again. But lies to the devil because God is the one who has the final say."
Even before it was clear that Chirinos would make it as a big league catcher, he was inspired one day at church in 2012 to establish his charitable foundation so that he could follow in his father’s footsteps to help others.
“I went to church one Sunday and a pastor was saying so many guys watch those commercials with [starving] kids in Africa and they feel sad but they don’t do anything about it,” Chirinos said during an interview with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I think God used that moment to touch my heart and say, ‘All right, let’s go and do it.’”
In his 2014 interview with MLB.com, Chirinos said that God made it possible for him to overcome his concussion and continue his MLB career.
“He is the one who gave me the strength to keep me believing I was getting better and giving me the strength to get through that, and then my family being around me and all the people who pushed me trying to get me where I am,” Chirinos said.