Clint Hurdle is doing something no one has done in quite a while. He’s turning the Pittsburgh Pirates into winners—well, at least half the time. Under Hurdle’s first-year leadership, the Pirates have been flirting with .500 throughout the first two months of the season. This is especially remarkable considering Pittsburgh hasn’t had a winning season in 18 years and lost an astounding 105 games in 2010.
But for Hurdle, who spent 10 years playing in the Major Leagues, his success on the field (including leading the Colorado Rockies to its first World Series appearance) has been tempered by a desire to live out his faith in a very real and public way:
Bonham: Why is it so important for you to support organizations such as Baseball Chapel and Fellowship of Christian Athletes?
Hurdle: It’s a way of sharing. It’s a way of being accountable and being responsible. It puts more emphasis on what you say when your actions are backing you up. You’re going out and meeting kids, finding out their needs and where their hearts are and what challenges or problems they have. Things are different for 13 year olds then when I was 13. I need to go out and take the temperature of the different groups in my home church. It’s a strong part of the nurturing of your relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s going to make your active in a lot of different ways. I just don’t think that if you truly develop that relationship with Christ that you can keep quiet about it or that you can sit in your house and not get out. You’re going to be more involved.
Bonham: What’s your favorite scripture?
Hurdle: Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It’s the one that’s become the most fertile and the most meaningful for my soul. It reminds me that with challenge comes opportunity.