After driving 26 hours across the country, my wife and I completed our three-day trek from Florida to Arizona — the place we would call home for the next baseball season.
Hearing I was traded to the Diamondbacks was definitely overwhelming at first. That big of a move would be for anybody. You hear about players getting traded all the time, but you can never fully understand the feeling until it happens to you.
I had heard ideas being thrown around the league and rumors of teams getting ready to sign new players, but it’s hard to tell if it’s you they’re talking about or a different young pitcher. When it actually happens, it’s shocking. I remember getting off the phone with the Cardinals who told me I was traded. I found my wife and started to stammer. She could tell something was going on. “Spit it out!” she said. When I was finally able to tell her the news, she was excited. I was staring blankly. I didn’t know how to feel or how to process it. She was excited for a fresh start and I wasn’t as sure.
But as I began accepting this drastic change, I became more and more ready for the move. I started understanding the next step, and then the next step. Though there were a thousand things going on in my mind and hundreds of questions about the future, I stopped to ask God for peace.
Drafted in 2014 with the St. Louis Cardinals, they had been my team for the past four years. I spent my first years in the minors with this organization and then made my debut in the big leagues with them a few years later. It’s been incredible to form bonds with the guys in St. Louis as well as fulfill my lifelong dream. It was a perfect place to get my feet wet, and now with my second team, I know only great opportunities await.
I had formed great relationships in St. Louis. There are a lot of great teammates and great Christian men in the Cardinals organization — a lot of Adam Wainwright types who you can look up to and learn from, not only in the game, but in the Christian faith. Those relationships won’t end with this trade, but I also know it will no longer be an everyday thing.
But once I was traded, I was encouraged to find out that Arizona also has a strong faith-base on its team. Numerous guys engage in regular Bible studies and do life together much like we did in St. Louis. Before I even arrived in Arizona, the team chaplain reached out to me, as well as faith leaders on the team in Steven Souza, Nick Ahmed and Robbie Ray. Maybe this was a huge blessing in disguise? God was already showing me His goodness in this new city, before I had even stepped on the field.
It’s really cool to see and experience the brotherhood of Christian men within the league. No matter what team you are on, you know there are men to do life with — men who make Jesus the focus of this game. They know the real reason they’re here and it’s a delight to be around them.
Coming to a new team this year, I know God’s going to continue to grow me as a player and as a man of God. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
— Luke Weaver, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher
Luke Weaver is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Luke’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/luke-weaver/
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