Post image for Ty Blach, San Francisco Giants, Pitcher

Ty Blach, San Francisco Giants, Pitcher

by carmine on April 7, 2014

Spotlight Athlete Archive

With baseball in the air and Opening Day happening across the country we decided to talk with 2013 Minor League Baseball Pitcher of the Year, Ty Blach.  Ty was a 5th-round pick from Creighton University in the 2012 draft, Blach (12-4, 2.90 ERA) won the California League ERA title in his rookie professional season. He walked only 18 batters compared to 117 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings. Very early in talking with Blach we knew he was much more than just a baseball player. He is a true follower of Christ and a bright light in every clubhouse he walks into. Ty recently talked to Unashamed Athletes about his walk with the Lord and his athletic career has came together.

UA: When did you start walking with the Lord, and what has your walk been like?

blach_6ikku6mpTB: My walk with the Lord started when I was a young boy. I grew up going to church with my family and praying with my parents every night. My faith was always important to me, but it wasn’t always the most important thing in my life. I broke my femur playing football in middle school and this is when I started to trust in God and seek him more in my daily life. Once I got to college I joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and found a community of believers who wanted to dedicate their athletic careers to Jesus Christ. That group of athletes at Creighton really helped me to strive everyday to use the platform that God has given me to show people His love.

UA: What does it mean to you to glorify the Lord both on and off the field?

TB: Glorifying the Lord on and off the field is something that can be difficult for athletes at times. On the field we can easily get caught up in the heat of competition and lose sight of the bigger picture. I say a prayer before every inning that I pitch in order to help me keep my eyes on God and play for Him. I also like to read a few chapters of the Bible before each start that I make so that I have His word fresh in my mind while I’m on the field. Off the field I try to lead a life pleasing to God. I am always trying to be upbeat and positive and see if there is any way that I can brighten the day of the people around me. With all this being said, I am a sinner. I am far from perfect.  I know that I have a lot of work to do as far as dedicating my life to serving other people like Jesus did, but hopefully through prayer and God’s amazing grace I will keep trying to become more of a man for others.

UA: How do you go about talking to teammates and opponents about your faith and what it means to you?

TB: I have been blessed to have a lot of teammates who have very strong faiths. They have helped me immensely in my walk as a Christian Athlete. It is not always easy being a Christian and can be easy to stray away from God, but through the fellowship with my teammates it makes it a lot easier to put God at the center of my life. It has been really humbling to see some of my teammates who were not Christians start to become curious about my faith and want to learn more. Jesus died for each and every one of us and I want people to know just how much he loves them and that their sins are forgiven eternally if they accept Christ into their heart and choose to follow him. I just try to be open and approachable and help them come closer to Christ in any way that I can. I have also met some amazing people who play for different teams through my faith. The community of Christian Athletes is so strong and I have the utmost respect for all of my teammates and opponents who play for His greater glory.

UA: What is your favorite verse, and how does it help you live each day?

Blach480_ad38uxxj_3nd7flzeTB: My favorite verse is Matthew 6:33. It says “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness and all of these things will be given to you” When I was a kid I got an autograph from Terry Shumpert who was a utility infielder for the Colorado Rockies. Under his signature he had this verse written. Ever since that day, that verse has never left me. It reminds me that in everything that I do, I should put God first and God will help take care of everything else. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Shumpert a year or so ago and I told him about the autograph and the Bible verse that he put with it and the impact it still has on me to this day. He made an impact on me with that Bible verse and I too hope to make an impact on someone’s life when I include Matt 6:33 on my autographs for fans.

UA: Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” How can you take that verse into your athletic career?

TB: I think that Romans 1:16 should be one verse that all Christians take to heart, no matter what they do in their lives. Jesus Christ was beaten, scourged, and crucified so that my sins and everyone else’s sins would be forgiven and that we could have eternal life with God the Father in heaven. I should never be ashamed as a Christian to show people just how amazing God’s love for us is. The gospel message is what we as Christians should be preaching each and everyday because the gospel is Jesus’ word handed down for all mankind to hear. The gospels are the most genuine source we have of Jesus’ words and with these words we can show God’s love and mercy for his people. This verse will be a constant reminder to me to never be afraid to show people that I am Christian and that I should never be ashamed to live my life for Him.

UA: How important is it to have teammates that you can fellowship with throughout the season?

TB: Baseball is a game of failure. Often times it can be very easy to get down about performances and it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Having teammates to talk with about my struggles and my joys really helps to keep me on an even keel and not get to high or too low. Walking in faith alone can be difficult. By having fellowship with teammates it makes it easier to live and play for Christ. Some of my best friends are the most amazing Christian guys I have ever met because they have dedicated their lives to the people around them and they understand that no matter what happens on the field, God has a plan for them and they are able to trust in that plan and keep their eyes fixed on Him, no matter how difficult it seems at times.

UA: What advice would you give to other athletes who are afraid to share their faith with others?

7471856TB: The advice that I would give to other athletes who are afraid to share their faith is to remember what Jesus Christ did for you. He died on that cross so that you could live eternally. There is nothing more important in this world than that love that Jesus showed to us and sharing that love with other people is all that he asks in return. It can be difficult and you may feel unaccepted by some people in society today, but you will come to find out that there are a lot of people in the world who are very accepting of God’s love. Someone may just be needing a ray of hope in a tough time or someone else might be just as afraid to show their faith just like you. No matter what the case, God has put you in this world to make an impact on the people around you so don’t be afraid to live for Him. There are so many wonderful people in this world and you should never be afraid to seek the advice of another Christian on how they live out the gospel message in their daily life. Trust in God with all of your heart and know that He has a plan for you and to never be afraid to live your life for Him because of the blessings that he has put in our lives.

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