Phil Humber’s Christian walk has had peaks and valleys. Yesterday was a peak for the Chicago White Sox hurler as he became only the 21st pitcher in major league baseball history to throw a perfect game.
Humber faced 27 Seattle Mariner batters, retiring them one after another, in the Chisox’s 4-0 victory. His perfect game appeared most in jeopardy in the 9th inning when he ran the count to 3-2 with two batters, risking imperfect bases-on-balls. But the pitcher punched them both out.
“God is so good,” said Humber, in a televised interview following his historic outing.
And he was not merely mouthing some faux-religious platitude, like we hear so often from athletes, entertainers and politicians who are not truly abiding in Christ. Humber is a true believer.
Indeed, his faith has been tested mightily almost since he has selected by the New York Mets with the 3rd overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft. One year later, Humberwas devastated when he suffered a career-threatening injury requiring Tommy John surgery.
The fallen phenom was released by the Mets and bounced around the major leagues until the Sox claimed him off of waivers in January 2011. Fifteen months later, Humber has rewarded the ballclub for the chance it took on him by improbably tossing a perfect game.
Humber’s eight-year baseball journey – from peak to valley, and from valley back to peak – is a feel-good story that transcends the world of sport.
It confirms that all things together work for good for those – like Humber– who love God, who are called according to His purpose.