With the Kansas City Royals winning the franchise's second World Series Sunday night, Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist explained who the real winner was when asked about his emotions on winning his first World Series.
The 10-year Major League Baseball veteran, who made it to the World Series once before in 2008 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays when they lost in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies, knows what it's like to make it so far in the playoffs, only to walk away emptyhanded.
Zobrist, the son of an Illinois pastor, asserted during a television interview after the series-clinching 7-2 victory over the New York Mets that no matter the amount of preparation the players put in, God is the one who emerges as the true victor.
"This is incredible, a very prepared team, everybody is prepared but, you know, you prepare the horse for battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord," Zobrist stated. "I am so thankful to be a part of this. I am just thankful."
For most of Sunday night's game, it looked as though the Royals and Mets were headed for a sixth game in the series, as the Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead that held up all the way until the ninth inning when the Royals finally knocked Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey out of the game and scraped together two runs to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
"They just never give up no matter what the score is in the game and it's just incredible," Zobrist said earlier in the interview.
The 34-year-old two-time all-star, who is married to Christian singer Julianna Zobrist, has been vocal about his Christian faith all throughout his playing career.
In an interview with Baptist Press, the Zobrists' pastor, Byron Yawn of the Community Bible Church in Nashville, said that Zobrist — who played college ball at Dallas Baptist University — has such an influence on his teammates that he is like a "missionary" working in the MLB mission field.
"Ben, by virtue of the providence of God, has ended up being a missionary in a very difficult mission field of professional sports," Yawn explained. "Ben deeply values those connections he has with people, the relationships that he has."
"The consistency of the godliness of his life is a natural attraction to a diversity of personalities on the team," Yawn added.
In an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Zobrist explained that, even as a baseball player, he holds a responsibility to represent Christ as best he can.
"Like anybody else that goes and does their job, there's a way to do your job with excellence," Zobrist said. "You want to represent Christ well with doing you job, first and foremost, because that's what you're there to do."
The Zobrists have authored a book titled Double Play, which offers insight into the couple's devotion to God, family, music and baseball.
According to Breitbart, the couple's devotion to each other is so great that they have made a pact to never be apart for more than six days at a time, even though Zobrist spends more than half of the year traveling in and out of baseball stadiums throughout the country.
But now that the couple has two small children and a third on the way, maintaining that pact has become increasingly difficult.
"It's a whole new ballgame now with the kids," Julianna Zobrist told Breitbart. "The main change has been me getting on a lot of flights with the kids to meet Ben in different cities."