Dodgers Dave Roberts, Clayton Kershaw Keep Christ at the Center of World Series Win
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
In Dave Roberts’ first four years as a manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he led the team to win its division each year and to play in the World Series twice. For loyal fans who had not seen their franchise win a World Series since 1988, Roberts’ impressive results were still lackluster.
However, in the 48-year-old manager’s fifth year with the Dodgers, he led the team to its first World Series win in 32 years by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games.
With the 2020 World Series win, Roberts’ resume grows more impressive.
Since the start of the 2016 season, no other manager had won more regular-season games. Roberts’ regular-season winning percentage (436-274) ranks third all-time behind Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy and current Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who are tied in first.
Despite solidifying his career as one of the best managers in the MLB, Roberts says his faith in God is at the center of it all.
Before the start of the 2019 season, Roberts sat down with Scott Rae, a professor with the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, in Los Angeles, to discuss his faith in God.
“My faith has impacted the clubhouse because I live my life a certain way,” Roberts told Rae, the “Think Biblically” host. “There’s no question that I’m a believer. I can quite honestly say I live that the way I should, and I’m bold about that. But I am respectful of the profession and the job that guys have to do. So there’s a couple layers: number one, people knowing who I am inside and out, and I am consistent with that, and being open to listening and leading and trying to do things the right way. I think that people see Christ through me, and that’s sort of what we want to create in the clubhouse.”
As a manager, Roberts said that he doesn’t measure success by how many wins he gets, but rather, how well he is living his life for Christ.
“Well, as a baseball fan, which I am, as a former player, as a coach where every game means something, and it impacts people, my faith plays into this because I work as hard as I can work,” Roberts said. “I prepare as well as I can prepare. But, at the end of the day, I feel that if I live my life and prepare the way and compete the way that Christ wants me to compete, I’ll live with any result.”
Roberts continued: “I don’t take it lightly in the sense that I don’t care as much as the next person, because I do. But I do feel that I’m here for a greater purpose, and I do have a platform to share my faith and to make the men around me better people and see Christ in me. If their time comes that they get to know the Lord, great. I do have a job to do, and that’s that I work for the Dodgers. But I think that it gives me a really good peace where I have anxiety or stress, frustration, and I put it on God. I really do.”
Roberts shared his testimony and recalled that before he gave his life to Christ in 1996, baseball was his god.
“Ultimately, I gave my heart and soul to Christ,” Roberts said. “Then I went through the period of, ‘Man, I’m on fire and everything’s going to be perfect. All those demons that I had and trials were going to be gone.’ And I quickly learned that wasn’t the case … It’s been rocky. It hasn’t been perfect, the way I’ve lived as far as temptations, priorities get away, and I don’t keep God at my center. I didn’t keep God at my center. It’s a growth period.
“I will say that it’s taken me a long time to really accept the fact that there’s no perfect Christians and everyone has their own individual walk. As long as we’re getting closer to God every single day, that’s what we strive for.”
Roberts is not only a man of faith on the World Series Dodgers team. Dodgers All-Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw also lives for Christ on and off the field.
In a separate 2019 interview with Scott Rae, Kershaw said that Christ is the foundation of everything he does.
“Well, it’s just the foundation of everything, so I think success, failure, being injured, being healthy, different things, it can kind of be a roller coaster if you don’t have that foundation,” Kershaw said. “I think having Christ at the center, and then realizing that baseball is just a game, and then realizing that you didn’t do anything to deserve the ability to throw a baseball. It was just a complete gift. Nothing I did to deserve that. It was just from God.”
Like Roberts, Kershaw recognizes the platform he has had as an MLB player, which has only grown in light of winning the World Series.
“There’s a lot of Dodger fans out there, and with that, there’s such a great platform to get the word out about what we’re doing, but honestly, just what God’s doing. It’s a really cool opportunity,” Kershaw said. “Baseball’s going to be done. I’m going to be a former baseball player a lot longer than I am a baseball player, so while I do have this platform and while I do have this notoriety, I guess you could say, you’re trying to point that in the right direction, realizing that baseball is just a vessel.”
The manager and pitcher shared a joy-filled moment after the Dodgers’ win.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 28, 2020
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