Notebook > Sports

Victory in the ninth

"Victory in the ninth" Continued...

Issue: "The GOP and Hispanics," May 19, 2012

One of the common themes in the coverage of Humber has been his humility. He says God developed his character through the years of struggling, dropping him so low that he wanted to give up baseball in 2009: "Sometimes God takes us into the desert and works on us a little bit. He used that time to work on me."

Humber experienced a five-fold increase in his Twitter following within three days of his historic game. With his first post-perfect game tweet, he once again pointed a watching world to the source of his strength: "Throwing a perfect game is an awesome moment in a ballplayer's life. But it pales in comparison to knowing a truly perfect God. Jer 9:23-24." ("Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me.'")

-J.C. Derrick is a World Journalism Institute student

Watching at home

On April 21, two time zones and more than 1,700 miles away from Seattle, Kristan Humber sat in front of the television in dead silence.

Kristan, nine months pregnant, watched the game from home in Chicago with her mother-in-law. "As soon as he got through the eighth inning, I just broke out in a sweat," she said. "When he went 3-0 on the first batter, at that point my heart started racing."

When Humber got the final out, his wife and mother both spent some time screaming, before Kristan moved from the couch to in front of the television and cried "like somebody had kicked me." She was overjoyed for Phil, but also could not believe she had missed the game of his life: "I definitely chalk that up as one of the neatest moments of my life-even though it was in front of a TV."

Kristan has made almost all of her husband's road trips in the past five years, but her doctor said she couldn't fly after March 30 with their son, John Gregory, close to arrival. She said traveling with her husband has helped make sexual temptations on the road a non-issue, but when she's not there she knows fellow Christian players Gavin Floyd and Brent Lillibridge serve as "great accountability partners."

Kristan said she is most proud of Philip for the humble way he handled himself after the perfect game: "Little do they know, that's the way he is all the time. He's not just pulling this out because he pitched a perfect game." -J.C. Derrick

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD's Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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