Nationals’ Third Baseman Anthony Rendon Credits God for Victory … and His Relaxed Attitude

When the Washington Nationals shocked their adversaries and the world by beating the favorited Houston Astros in a thrilling seven-game World Series, the man whose contribution stood out noticeably was surprisingly calm. Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon seemed unfazed by all the attention paid to him, remaining modest as ever and deferring credit to his faith.

As Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo said to USA Today, “It epitomized who Anthony Rendon is when in (Game 6), when almost everybody’s losing their minds, he was yawning in the batter’s box and hit a home run two pitches later.”

Asked by sports network ESPN how he could be so calm even as his team was on the verge of defeat, Rendon said, “I think I understand that there are bigger things going on in this world and my Savior, Jesus Christ, gives me that patience and that slow heart rate.”

While commentators wanted to focus on the gravity of moments during the World Series, Rendon instead compared himself and his fellow players with the real heroes. “It’s better than taking bullets for your country on the other side of the world,” he told ESPN. If people in the armed forces could risk their lives daily, playing ball “should be a breeze for us.”

Rendon did admit that the World Series victory was particularly satisfying because of the way the Nationals weren’t really taken seriously by the media or other teams after a slow start to the season. “It’s [sic] makes [winning] so much better, especially that fact that people [had] written us off, where we had 0.1 percent chance to make the playoffs.”

As the low-key player explained, “We just kept on going out there believing in ourselves because that’s all we had, we had nothing to lose.” Rendon’s friends and family members know well where his collected nature comes from. As his mom, Bridget Rendon, told the New York Times, “I’m very proud of him for his ability, but he knows it’s all God-given. He doesn’t take anything for granted.”

Rendon has talked about the way his faith informs his approach to the game on many occasions, including with Gregg Matte, his pastor from the First Baptist Church of Houston, where Rendon’s family lives. “I want to be a Christian baseball player. I want grow [sic] into that,” the third baseman told Matte in a video on his Facebook. “I’m still trying to grow into that. But at the end, I want to be more ‘Christian’ than ‘baseball player.’”

His ability to put the game in its place has impressed commentators and fellow players, though it’s much of a surprise to his family, many of whom are based in Houston. “He’s just got a gift with him,” his cousin Gabriel Rendon told USA Today. “He’s a gifted athlete and we’re happy for him as family.”

Mom Bridget Rendon noted the way that her son approaches the game versus the celebrity-hungry perspective of some of his fellow players. “He’s shown integrity. He doesn’t say: ‘Look at me, I’m a great guy,’” she explained to the New York Times. “I like that attitude about him, that he doesn’t do that.”

Anthony Rendon

Great to hear some advice this morning from Anthony Rendon — third baseman for the Washington Nationals and a fellow fan of coffee and Shipley Do-Nuts!

اس پر ‏‎Gregg Matte‎‏ نے شائع کیا جمعہ، 9 فروری، 2018

While Rendon is becoming a free agent and might not return to the Nationals, there’s no question that he will be highly sought after. While his tendency to yawn during games and appear asleep at times has provoked lots of good-natured jokes from teammates, everyone knows now that whatever Rendon is doing is working.

“At the end, it’s just a game,” he told Federal Baseball. “There are bigger things going on in this world than the 90 feet bases and the 330 foot fences. So I mean, if you don’t have fun out here in this game or in anything that you do, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.”

Whereas many other Major League Baseball players are obsessed with their statistics, salary, and public image, Rendon focuses on the task in front of him. “I don’t even know what I did yesterday, and I’m not even thinking about what I will do tomorrow,” he said. “I live here, in the moment. One day at a time.”

Anthony Rendon after his Game 6 home run that brought the Nationals back (©Getty Images | Mike Ehrmann)

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Author: Robert Jay Watson