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Cardinals pitcher’s blog helps N.C. player
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
March 21, 2011
4 MIN READ TIME

Cardinals pitcher’s blog helps N.C. player

Cardinals pitcher’s blog helps N.C. player
Tim Ellsworth, Baptist Press
March 21, 2011

GREENSBORO —

Eric Chiz couldn’t wait to get back on the baseball field.

A junior at North Carolina

A&T State University

and a catcher on the baseball team, Chiz sat out all of last season after

undergoing shoulder surgery. He had spent weeks working hard and rehabbing so

he could get back to playing the game he loves.

But in January, prior to the season’s start, Chiz got hurt

again — this time a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow that will

keep him out of action for about a year.

Another season gone for the baseball-loving Chiz.

BP photo

Eric Chiz of North Carolina A&T State University’s baseball team found encouragement in how St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright blogged about his faith after a season-ending injury.

“It felt like my whole world crashed down,” Chiz said about

the injury. “It took every bit of my power not to be angry with God. It was

something I didn’t understand, and I still don’t understand.”

A member of Burkemont

Baptist Church

in Morgantown, Chiz attends Life

Community Church,

a Southern Baptist congregation in Greensboro,

while at college.

A men’s ministry at Life Community has helped Chiz work

through the “Why?” questions that have dogged him.

He also found encouragement from another source: St. Louis

Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright, the ace of the St. Louis

pitching staff, got his own disturbing news recently when tests confirmed that

he had torn his UCL, just like Chiz.

Wainwright underwent a surgical procedure (known as “Tommy

John surgery”) to repair the ligament, but he’ll miss all of the 2011 season.

That news was a significant blow to Wainwright, who finished

second in Cy Young Award balloting last year. But in a blog posting, Wainwright

wrote about how his identity is first and foremost tied up in who he is as a

Christian, and not as a baseball player.

“This injury, the one that makes me miss an entire year of

baseball, has allowed me to stop missing what is right in front of me,”

Wainwright wrote Feb. 24.

“I am blessed with an amazing God. A God who continues to

teach me lessons in mysterious ways. I’m blessed with an amazing family. I’m

blessed with friends who really care for me, and I have felt it this week.

“And I’m blessed with teammates that started out as friends

and have become family,” he continued. “I believe this to be a test from God,

and it has opened my eyes. I believe I can still greatly impact God’s Kingdom

from this disabled list.”

Though Wainwright and Chiz have never met, Wainwright’s

testimony lifted the injured Chiz, who left a comment in response to

Wainwright’s posting.

“When I saw that you had also injured your elbow I thought

to myself that if he can stay positive then so can I,” Chiz wrote.

“I believe that God uses times like these to test our faith.

So thank you for being a brother in Christ and staying positive.”

Chiz, who underwent his own Tommy John surgery March 10,

continues to wrestle with the reasons for the injury. But he has come to an

important conclusion.

“It’s not our plans that matter,” he said. “It’s the plans

that God has for us that matter the most.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Ellsworth is editor of BP Sports and

director of news and media relations at Union

University in Jackson,

Tenn.)

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