GROVE CITY, PA.
Michael McKenry’s voice could be heard reverberating through the walls as hundreds listened, but this time he wasn’t calling out signals on the baseball diamond for a first-and-third situation. He was sharing his testimony with students at Grove City College inside Harbison Chapel.
McKenry attended Middle Tennessee State University with a dream of making it to the big leagues. After multiple stints with minor league clubs and thousands of miles traveled, he made his debut for the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and was later traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This year, McKenry went to bat for the community and partnered with Grove City College to bring military families to PNC Park for Pittsburgh Pirates games.
Before McKenry spoke at Chapel, he enjoyed a breakfast with the Grove City College Wolverine baseball team and a handful of others. The players met McKenry and had a question-and-answer session with the catcher. They talked about his faith, his favorite memories with the Pirates and tips for the Wolverine baseball team.
“My ministry is on the field, and that’s where I feel like I need to be,” The Pirates catcher told the Wolverines as he encouraged them to use baseball as a gateway to their faith. McKenry tore his meniscus in the middle of the 2013 season and underwent season-ending surgery. He said that even though he was disappointed his season was over, the injury allowed him to speak at six different churches in one week that he didn’t plan to. “It was a blessing I was able to share my story with those people,” McKenry said.
McKenry’s message at the Chapel service delivered the story of working with Christ and how one can be more like him. He spoke about the moment he accepted Jesus Christ into his life, all the people that encouraged him and made him who he is today, and how baseball kept him from turning down the wrong path.
“As you go about your life, it’s not about getting the next promotion or hit, all of that will fall into place if you work for him,” McKenry said. “Focus daily, go about the grind and figure out how you can be a little more like him each and every day.
“When the college contacted me to come speak, I was all for it,” he said. “God gave me a pedestal to reach out and hopefully touch people’s lives and any chance I get to go out to the community I can, I want to pour into people’s hearts with Christ working through me.”