Jesus Changed My Life
“When I was a freshman in high school, my neighbor invited me to an FCA meeting, and it so happened that the topic that night was on salvation,” says San Diego Padres infielder Chase Headley. “By night’s end I had given my life to Christ. That was the beginning of my journey, my walk with the Lord.”
Headley, a native of Fountain, Colo., grew up in a loving and supportive home. “My parents were always there for my older brother, Nate, and me, at all our games and activities,” he says. “Although we were not active in a church, I have a great family that shares lots of love.
Headley played varsity baseball and basketball at Fountain-Fort Carson High School. He earned All-Conference four years and All-State twice in baseball.
Leading the Vols to the College World Series
In 2002, after graduation, Headley headed to California to play baseball at the University of The Pacific. He led the team in hits and the Big West Conference in walks. But his sophomore year, he transferred to The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the same school his older brother, Nate, was attending. Chase earned All-American, All-SEC, and Academic All-American honors, and helped lead the Vols to the 2005 College World Series.
“I had good experiences in college with Campus Crusade for Christ and Athletes in Action,” Headley adds. “I had two great leaders in Eric Phillips and Teg Tegelaar at Tennessee who were very helpful in the growing of my Christian faith.”
First Home Run at Old Yankee Stadium
After two years at UT, Chase was drafted by the San Diego Padres.
“In 2007, I made my big league debut June 15 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.” Headley says, “You can’t beat that. It was pretty special.”
The following year he came up to the majors for good. “I got my first home run at old Yankee Stadium; it was the last year it was open,” Headley says. “Both of those stadiums are historical so it was special to achieve those things at these ball parks."
Power to Love the Unlovable
“If you put a circle, that represents Christ in the center of a pie, that represents life,” Headley says. “Any way you slice it, the circle will always touch a part of that slice. That’s how I try to live my life. I try to have Christ touch all aspects of my life.”
One of Headley’s favorite Bible verses is II Timothy 1:7, which reads, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
“This encompasses what I want to do in my Christian walk,” Headley says. “Too many times Christians are portrayed as weak, (and they think) ‘I can’t be a man anymore or I can’t stand up for myself.’ This verse says (that) through God, in Christ, I have power to stand up as a Christian, to love even when it’s hard to love the unlovable, and to have the self-discipline to resist the temptations we face daily.
“Professional athletes have a tremendous platform,” he adds. “I try to use that platform; I look for opportunities to speak out about my faith.”
Headley does that through baseball cards that include his faith story, as well as speaking at FCA events, Family Faith Nights at the ball parks, and at churches or college events.
“Jesus changed my life”
“Jesus has changed my life,” Headley says. “My goal is to have Jesus be the center of everything. I can worship Jesus by the way I play baseball and in how I interact with teammates, opponents, umpires and fans. I try to let my life reflect my faith in Christ.”
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