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MLB Star: Baseball Mirrors Life

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Minnesota Twins Royce Lewis is Minnesota Nice! A gracious soul who thrives as their hitting enforcer, maximizing his moments after significant injuries delayed his young career. The overcoming third baseman delivers after being baseball’s top draft pick – a franchise face whose feet are grounded by an embedded faith.

Question: “For a California kid, what makes Minnesota baseball distinct for you?”

Royce Lewis: “Yeah, for me, growing up, you know, especially in California, I always thought Minnesota, you know, snow, you know, like eight, nine months of the year. Aww, but when you get up there, it's just so beautiful. It's so peaceful. In the summertime, you know, I'm blessed enough to have an opportunity to play the best months of the year for Minnesota. The 'Minnesota Nice' term is definitely a true thing and you feel that and I'm just so happy and respectful of the opportunity I have to be a Major League Baseball player.”

Question: “When you consider all the things that go into your development, what’s the one thing that’s being the primary catalyst to elevate that level of talent?” 

Royce Lewis: “Something at post-draft they told me it was me as a person and how I was and how I responded to them and how I acted that really brought them ultimately to make that decision of taking me number one overall all. The talent was there for sure, but they talked about the deciding factor between me and three or four other guys - that made me and my family excited and happy to be part of this Minnesota organization.” 

Twins Coach, Tony Diaz, endorses Royce as both a talent and person saying, “There’s a lot of players though that have premium talent. What separates Royce even at a young age is his heart and the attitude of gratitude that he brings. Royce is a coach’s dream. He brings that attitude in day in and day out. He brings a smile. He’s very intentional about everything he does and he’s very open-minded.”

Question: “Overcoming can be a beast. Before ’22, you tear the ACL, same leg - consecutive seasons. For that second time around what did you have to pull on?” 

Royce Lewis: “The first time around I learned a lot about myself, and where I needed to grow as a person, and I felt like I grew a lot. And then the second time around, it hurt a lot more, obviously, because I knew that the rehab was going to be automatically out for a year. In a sense, it brought me closer to Him. It made me realize that baseball is not everything and so now when I play baseball, I just take it for the gratitude that it is.”

Question: “Royce, did you have to struggle with the ‘why’ question, ‘why me?'”

Royce Lewis: “If you don't, you're not human, you know. That question of ‘why me,’ definitely was there. It was something that right away I was very upset with God, with myself, with what could I have done different? He opened perspective for me that changed my life ultimately and I'm still growing in my faith and trying to continue to pursue God the best way I can and I'm always learning. I feel like those “pinch-me” moments – I get dreams and visions of hitting home runs or doing something with a teammate, talking to yourself! And I just feel like it’s just God talking to me, letting me know where I'm at in my in my life and that I'm on the right path.”

Question: “You’re the historic grand slam guy! You’ve already made your mark, it’s your signature. Four grand slams in the fewest amount of games – 56! When those bases are loaded Royce, how does that turn to your advantage?”

Royce Lewis: “Yeah, you know, it’s the simplicity approach for me. I think the pitcher...he’s worried about walking me and letting in a run for free. That’s the way we look at it as competitors. That’s like a free base and a free run. So, for him he wants to compete and challenge me. So, I know he’s going to come at me with his best stuff in the zone. And so I’m just waiting for that pitch and do some damage with it and put it in the outfield and I am blessed enough to be the one up at-bat when those situations come and just rise to the occasion.” 

Question: “Those bases loaded opportunities, does that translate to, to a life that can be live with productivity and efficiency?”

Royce Lewis: “Absolutely! It does. Yeah. I always compare baseball to the game of life; you learn a lot. There’s so much more failure in this game then for most of us in life. You know, I’m failing seven out of ten times and that’s a great Hall of Fame baseball career. But in life, if we fail seven out of ten times, we’re probably in trouble. When I’m able to be productive and efficient in this game good things seem to happen. And when I’m able to be productive and efficient in life, I feel like it definitely makes life a lot easier and a lot more fun.”

Question: “The competitive moment provokes in you a rise to the occasion. How is the Christ you walk with an unseen competitor on our behalf?”

Royce Lewis: “He did the ultimate sacrifice. I feel like, that’s why He’s the best competitor there will ever be. To do something that no one is willing to do and to do it it for others who may not be worthy and to do it out of the kindness of his heart. How wonderful of a moment! You know I wish I could go travel and see what it was like in that time and be with Jesus and walk with Jesus. I grew up from my parents just being in a Christian household of learning and being a part of Jesus and then hopefully, you know, I just got engaged, as I become a parent one day, I’m able to teach my kids the same thing and have them grow up in a household where being a Christian man or being a faithful man is safe and comfortable, and welcoming to where you let your kid make that decision on their own. But you also show them the way, the light and the truth. ‘Cuz I feel like the truth is so important, man.”

Question: “As a centerpiece of a Major League franchise, what does the Jesus Christ that you companion with bring to you?” 

Royce Lewis: “He brings a sense of peace when I’m able to pray before the game and when I’m out on that field I know He’s there with me. And sometimes you’re in a situation that you prefer not to be in. I realize now, like my ACL, He set me on a path for better direction. He says, 'your time’s not now, I have a better idea in mind.’ And that’s kind of the feeling and fulfillment I get from the Jesus Christ I’ve come to learn.”

Question: “Tell me about the underrated value of humility. How have you embraced that?”

Royce Lewis: “Humility to me...what it means is someone that has like a knight in shining armor, that armor underneath something, that they may do great things, but they put it off to everyone else because they realize it’s not them that’s doing it. And that’s to me, is Jesus Christ, it’s my parents, it’s the rest of my family, and they’re giving me that armor to be the man I am today and put me in the path to be successful.”

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About The Author

Tom Buehring

Tom currently travels as a National Sports Correspondent for The 700 Club and CBN News. He engages household sports names to consider the faith they’ve discovered within their own unique journey. He has over 30 years of experience as a TV sports anchor, show host, reporter and producer, working commercially at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Nashville and Fayetteville where he developed, launched and hosted numerous nightly and weekly shows and prime-time specials. Prior to his TV market hopping, Tom proposed and built an academic/intern television broadcast program at the University of North