NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Ben Zobrist often gets treated like royalty in his line of work. People arrange his travel and carry his bags. He stays in swank hotels. He gets autograph requests.
Such is life for the Tampa Bay Rays shortstop during much of the year.
It's a different story at his church during the offseason. Zobrist works behind the scenes. He picks up trash. He gets beaned by bean bags.
"I manned one of the booths at a Halloween alternative party," Zobrist said. "I remember all I did for the whole time was bend over and pick up these weighted sand pins and set them up so a kid could knock them down again. One kid threw a bean bag at my face."
That type of humble service comes at the behest of his pastor, Byron Yawn, at Community Bible Church in Nashville, Tenn.
"It would be pretty easy for Ben to be a celebrity," Yawn said. "With Ben's star on the rise, the exhortation I've given him is, at least four or five months out of the year -- exist in a place where you're able to die to self, tie on an apron, pull up a basin and wash others' feet. And be content with that."
That's often a challenge for Zobrist, especially when he's used to having everything done for him much of the time. Maintaining a servant mentality is one of the toughest things he has to do. His wife Julianna can relate.
"Even though our lives are committed to the Lord, just the fact that he plays Major League Baseball makes it very easy to become self-consuming, even when you're not meaning to," she said. Read More