Former MLB player shares faith on the field - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Former MLB player shares faith on the field

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Rounding 3rd Base has a whole new meaning for traveling baseball teams in the region.

Rounding 3rd is a local faith-based group bringing devotions to the teams in-between Sunday games when going to church is not easy.  

You could say Brian Doyle has pro baseball in his blood, having both of his brothers in the sport as well.         

The Rangers drafted him right out of high school. But through a trade, ended up with the Yankees.

"I was so upset because I was going to be the Texas Rangers next second baseman in the big leagues. I got word that I got traded to the New York Yankees. I thought man, I'm never going to make it to the big leagues now," said Brian Doyle, Former Major League Baseball Player.  

What seemed like a negative at the time, became the high light of his career. After an injury took another player out, the Yankees needed Doyle to step in for the 1978 World Series. 

"So only a couple of hours we were in Los Angeles did I know that I was going to be eligible to play in the World Series. And then I lead that World Series in hitting," said Doyle.

A dream from an early age, he says, he imagined at just 9-years-old had finally come true.

"Davy Lopes was the second baseman and Bill Russell was the short stop for the Dodgers and they saw a 22-year-old crying. The place was going nuts, I wasn't crying because I had just hit a double hitter. All I could think about was that 9-year-old boy sitting on a cardboard second base having that dream," said Doyle.

Doyle and his brothers went on to train more players than anyone in the history of baseball.

He shares his wisdom of the game. But says the most important conversations are about his faith. 

"Since 1978 I've been using the baseball field as the church. It's easy to share the Christian morals, integrity, character, those type of things with 8-year-olds to major leaguers," said Doyle.  

Bartlee Norton with Rounding 3rd Ministries says those same conversations are what they're bringing to the games, to make it easier on families who are having to choose between their child's ball game or going to church.

"We love travel baseball. We're a baseball family. But it's definitely a sacrifice on the church front so I think it's great that if we can't be at church that they can bring a little bit of church to us," said Lori Wilkes, Parent.

Norton says they're reaching everyone from the dug-outs to the stands.

"We originally did it to disciple to kids and coaches. But we've got parents, grandparents, umpires that are coming up and saying, hey I want to know the Lord and they're coming out onto the field," said Bartlee Norton, Rounding Third Ministries

"That's the thing, whether you've played for the Yankees or the pee-wee sports team. When you're on God's team. You're an All-star," said Doyle.

Bartlee Norton says their ministry has grown tremendously over the last year, where teams are requesting Rounding 3rd be in attendance.

To learn more about Rounding 3rd Ministries click here

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