Daniel Norris is a professional pitcher for the Detroit Tigers
Five Increase Questions
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
For me, the process of getting drafted, going through the minor leagues and then making it into the majors was somewhat of a fast track. I was drafted in 2011, had my first pro season in 2012, and then was called up to play in the big leagues in 2014. I think the managers took their time calling me up but at the same time, they didn’t want to waste time either. Looking back, I think God gave me that opportunity to be challenged early on, which I’m really thankful for. I was fortunate to be able to accept that challenge and work hard to prove myself as a big leaguer. With the challenge of competing at the highest level of baseball in front of me, I had to have faith in God’s plan. At the time I was called up I was only 21 and, realizing my dream had come true, I also experienced the pressures that came with performing at that level. I had to rely a lot on my faith in God. And that’s an ongoing process for me — it hasn’t necessarily become harder but neither has it become easier. I have to rely on Him in every moment. I know baseball is what I’m supposed to be doing. I cling to my faith in Christ while I’m working out, training and preparing for the upcoming season. Though I know God’s plan will happen no matter what, I work my hardest to show Him I’m willing to make the most of this opportunity and His plan for my life. When I work hard, I’m working hard for God.
Describe how your Journey with Christ began.
My faith in Christ has been a continual journey. I never really had a big “aha moment.” I’m really fortunate to have grown up in the Church, going every Wednesday evening and twice on Sundays. The truth of God’s Word was embedded in my head and heart at an early age. Having said that, it hasn’t always been an easy journey, there have been trials. I’ve been through a lot of challenges that have tested my faith — times when I’ve really and truly had to trust in God on a deeper level, making sure my faith is dialed in. I’ve learned, time and again, how to rely on God. It’s an interesting story and one that’s still being written.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
My pops, he taught me how to live simply and glorify the Lord.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
I want to increase the name of Christ by being the best baseball player I can be so I can give Him all the glory. Yes, I want to play for another 20 years and have a successful career, but ultimately, I know God doesn’t care about that; He calls us to put our pride and personal desires to the side. He cares about me as a person and who I can reach. If that is enhanced through baseball then great, but if not, then I have to find another way to fulfill that duty. God doesn’t care about MVPs, sign-ons or how much money I make, he cares about how we live our lives and who we are touching through our lives. It’s easy to let your dreams of success drive you and be at the forefront of your mind. As a young kid, all I wanted was to be the best baseball player, but as I’ve become older I realize that I’m truly playing for God.
What is your life verse and why?
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” — 2 Peter 3:18 This became my favorite verse in high school when I talked with Josh Hamilton — one of the best players in the league at the time. He shared this verse with me and told me to remember it. It’s a great reminder that no matter what, when or where, all the glory goes to God. I try to live by this truth, not just in baseball, but in every area of my life.