The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


In the 'Strikezone' with Andy Pettitte

By Andrew Knox
The 700 Club His 13 wins in the postseason are the second most of all time. He’s the first pitcher since Babe Ruth to post a winning record in his first 10 seasons. Andy Pettitte’s resume is one of the best in the game.

Over his nine seasons with the Yankees, New York won six American League pennants and four World Series championships. Over the last 10 years, only one pitcher in all of baseball has more wins than Andy Pettitte.

You may not have known his remarkable stats or that when he pitched in all those playoff games, his focus was not just on the hitter.

“Every time I took the mound in any of those games, I just ask the Lord to give me the strength to go out there, protect me, and help me to compete,” says Andy. “I don’t want to ever do anything to jeopardize my testimony for Him.”

He values the championships, but says they’re only temporary.

“We’re living our lives right now on Earth for treasures that I think that we’re gonna have in Heaven,” he says. “I can’t wait ‘till the day I’m able to spend eternity with Jesus Christ.”

In the meantime, he’s expected to win games for the Astros. Pressure is nothing new. After all, he did play nearly a decade in “The Big Apple”.

“As soon as we won one World Series, [we thought] we better win the next year too. You know then you better win the next year. Then you come to Houston, and you need to win a World Series here too now. That’s never-ending.”

But since signing with Houston, Andy’s not been at the top of his game.

“You know you’re gonna go through valleys. I mean the last two years of my life have probably been the hardest two years that I’ve had in my entire life. Coming home, having to have arm surgery, and just all the expectations of everything being so great. Coming [back] and pitching for the Houston Astros, the first game that I play here I tear a tendon in my elbow, and I know I need surgery.”

But his faith has been an encouragement.

“You know God has a plan. We’re not surprising Him. He understands what we’re going through. He feels what we’re going through. When I get down, I can talk to Him. He encourages me. I can read His Word, and it encourages me.”

Andy finds parallels between “being on the mound” and living life as a Christian.

“It’s just not real smart to think that you can walk four or five batters and be successful in that game. It’s just not real smart to think that you can go out in the world, if you’re a married man and run-around, booze it up, and go out to bars if you want to have a wonderful relationship with your wife.”

His relationship with wife Laura is very important to him. That was the case even before their marriage.

“Me and my wife did not have sex until we were married. It became something that was very important to both of us that we were committed to each other waiting until we were married. “

In his book Strikezone, Andy talks very honestly about this and other matters of faith. He even addresses his off-season workouts, and why he places so much importance on conditioning. It’s not for opening day, but in preparation for the final stretch of the season.

“I just think it relates to your Christian faith if you do the work, if you’re in the Bible like you need to be, if you’re praying to the Lord. You’re gonna stay in the game a lot longer, and you’re gonna be a lot stronger than other people that aren’t.”

Finally, Andy knows he has a unique platform as a pro athlete. He wants people to know why he values the spotlight.

“You know the biggest thing in my life is my relationship with the Lord, and that’s really what I think my life’s all about -- trying to spread the Word of Jesus Christ and trying to get people to get saved. The day I got saved I knew there was something changed about me. I knew that I was going to spend eternity in Heaven with Him whenever I pass from this life. But the deal is you have to accept Him. He has to be living inside of you. If you don’t know Him, just ask Him to come into your heart, accept Him. It’s not going to solve all your problems in the world but it makes life a lot easier.”

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