Jeremy Affeldt played a critical role in the San Francisco Giants sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the World Series: In Game 4 last night he shut down the Tigers with an inning and two-thirds of standout relief pitching. Affeldt also writes weekly posts for his personal blog on topics such as Christian discipleship: Two days ago he wrote about Free to Play, a group opposed to human trafficking.
Years ago, Affeldt, 33, went to Northwest Christian School in Spokane, Wash., then headed to Florida for minor league ball. He told me this spring, “That’s when I took myself to church and read the Bible on my own.” In recent years he has been reading books by Christian authors such as New York pastor Tim Keller: “The Reason for God is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed the book. I pass it out.”
Affeldt has seemed headed for stardom several times during his decade-long major league career, but each time a physical ailment—blisters, a partially torn rib-cage muscle, a groin injury—sidelined the left-handed relief pitcher: “I went through times when I was quitting this game because I failed so much. … I was wondering if I should be doing this for a living. … During those times I truly was leaning a lot on God…. So now when I’m dealing with some young guys who are going bad, I have stories to tell. If I was always succeeding, then I would have no stories.”
Now, Affeldt has a tattoo on his forearm that proclaims “Solus Christus,” Christ alone. He got it on Mother’s Day last year because his wife, Larisa, wanted a tattoo but she wanted him “to do it first, so I said, ‘OK, I’m a big church history guy and the five solas of church history are very important to me.’” (The Protestant Reformation emphasized five solas—living by Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, glory to God alone.)
Larisa went for an “Eternity” tattoo on her wrist because during the baseball season her husband is on the road half the time.