The Ledbetter Twins: Faith in the Bullpen

Twin brothers David and Ryan Ledbetter are both pro pitchers who were drafted in 2013 by the Texas Rangers (David: 3rd Round, Ryan: 16th Round). In 2015, for the first time since they teamed up for Cedarville University, David and Ryan had the opportunity to play together as teammates on the High Desert Mavericks. Both Ledbetter twins see their professional careers as a platform and an opportunity to tell others about God’s unfailing love for us.

The Ledbetter twins grew up loving baseball and family. Raised in a Christian household in Indianapolis, Indiana, their parents taught them what it meant to follow God, but it wasn’t until their sophomore year at Cedarville University that both David and Ryan came to know Christ personally as their Savior.

“I remember sitting in the library, reading Ephesians,” Ryan reflects, “when I felt the weight of God’s grace and mercy on me. Suddenly I thought, ‘Why have I been thinking that I can earn salvation by my works? God just cares that I believe in His Son!’”

David had a similar experience in a dorm room that year, leading him to pursue a relationship with Jesus.

“Finally I saw God in a different light,” remembers David, “and it changed everything for me.”

David and Ryan learned that their works couldn’t earn them salvation, “But baseball is very works-based,” says Ryan. “You are constantly trying to prove yourself.”

While both pitchers have always stood out for their throwing speed, they aim to stand out for their faith in God as well.

“People should see your faith daily,” says David. “We want people to say, ‘I know these guys to be true to who they say they are.’”

“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” – 1 Peter 3:15

“Our dad always told us,” says David, smiling, “that no matter who we interact with or what they may be going through, ‘you just gotta love them through it.’ So that’s what we try to do.”

The Ledbetters see every interaction as an opportunity to share their trust in Jesus.

“It’s about building friendships,” Ryan says. “We just talk with guys about whatever naturally comes up, always looking for ways to point out where we see God working. It’s not hard to do with all that’s going on in the world.”

Naturally competitive athletes, Ryan and David were glad to be able to cheer each other on as teammates last season instead of facing each other as opponents.

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“It’s hard in the minors because you want everyone to do really well,” David admits, “but you almost can’t cheer for anyone else because they might take your spot. Competitiveness is just part of the deal. But now that we’re teammates, it’s about doing our best every day.”

With the goal of getting to the majors and staying there, the Ledbetter twins work hard on the mound, making the most of each pitch they throw.

“You have to be all in,” says Ryan, “If you want to be good at anything. You can’t just dip your toe in.”

The brothers are just as “all in” about being Jesus’ hands and feet in the clubhouse.

During the off-season, David and Ryan are back in Indianapolis with their wives, Elizabeth and Maddie, working hard towards the unpredictable future of next season. And even with all of the uncertainty that the baseball life brings, their trust in God stands firm.

“God is there for us through the thick and thin, no matter what,” says Ryan. “I’m learning to trust Him as He says, ‘I’m getting you ready for where I want you to be,’ which is not always where I expect. But His plan is greater.”

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

Check out David and Ryan’s blog, where they share regularly how they are living “boldly and joyously in Him.”