I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and moved to Texas when I was in 3rd grade. That was really the first time I started playing hardball.
My sister had invited me to go with her to a church with a friend who brought her too, and it was the first time that I had heard that you could have a relationship with Christ. It was just real personal. From that time, God came into my life, and my life was changed. There was no doubt about that the day I accepted the Lord.
For me, my favorite moment would be in 1996. I went to the New York Yankees. It was the first World Series that I had an opportunity to play in. I pitched terrible in Game 1. I got the loss and got knocked around. I was able to throw a good game in Atlanta and beat John Smoltz 1-0 in that game, and had an opportunity to play in eight World Series now, and win five of them. So, been extremely blessed.
The whole situation with me—and anyone who has followed my career and the game has probably known about the situation that came up with me with the HGH [Human Growth Hormone]. I’ve been a Christian since I was 11 years old. I mean, me and my wife are committed to one another. I met her when I was 15 years old, and we didn’t have sex before we got married. We were committed to that. I don’t drink. I don’t swear. So from the world’s eyes, you’re looking at me like “This guy’s got it all together,” and when that comes out, I felt like, “Man, I’ve lived my entire life to try to honor God and try to do things that would bring glory to Him, and in one incident, all that’s ruined.” I did something, and you have to own up to it; I didn’t want to lie about it, you know? I just couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t going to be able to sleep.
God revealed Himself to me more than I ever could imagine, just by showing me how powerful He is whenever you come out and you just tell the truth about something, and you just hand it over to Him, and you know that “if I try to handle this, I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.” He’s taken care of me through all this; He’s taken care of my wife, He’s taken care of my kids. The opportunities that God has given me over the last five years, and to share my faith and to share what God’s done in my life and in my kids’ lives, you know that it’s all going to be all right, and it’s all going to be good.
Everything I’ve been through hasn’t been a secret to Him. It’s not a surprise to Him. This hasn’t snuck up on Him. He’s got a plan for my life. He’s the comforter for me, He’s the peace that I have. He helps me to be able to perform the way that I perform in this game, because I’m secure in Him.
If it takes a huge, traumatic event in my life to continue to draw me closer to God, I’m ready for it, and bring it on, you know?