My Story by Justin Favaro, Valor Baseball Class of 2016

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Our new series will highlight baseball and faith stories from the Valor Baseball Class of 2016. Through the months of April and May, the graduating Eagles will have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences on and off the field through Bottom of the Ninth.

Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I have been playing baseball since I could walk. I remember the early mornings, the late nights, the plane rides, the road trips, the wins, the losses, the strikeouts, the hits, the errors, and the incredible plays. I remember it all. As I approach my last few games in a baseball uniform I take time to reflect on all the memories baseball has brought to me.

One key time I remember was my transition from 8th grade baseball to my freshmen year at Valor. My 8th grade year I thought I was a stud. I was always hitting the ball for a team that ended up winning the AAA championship and other countless tournament wins. I knew I was kind of physically awkward that year, but I thought my speed and power made up for it. After tryouts I thought for sure that I had made the C team, possibly starting too, but one night my dad brought down a piece of paper to my room with the roster on it. I looked and saw that I had made the developmental team. I was disappointed. I kept asking myself what the point was to continue on with my career when I wasn’t any good - I mean I made D-team and that to me was the lowest of the low. However, a few players did follow through with the thought of quitting. Their decision got rid of the D-team because we didn’t have enough kids. I thought I would have the worst time of my life sitting on the bench doing absolutely nothing but I was wrong. I had many friends on my team and it was a blast playing with them.

My sophomore year I had again made the C-team and I was happy about it. I would actually be starting and I couldn’t have been more relieved. My sophomore year I played without any worry about anything and had the best baseball year of my high school career. My team would all hang out together in school and out of school and I was so happy to have found friends to always talk to and hang out with.

I tried to bring my mentality from sophomore year to Junior but I struggled doing so. I was on the JV and I didn’t start, I would pinch hit every once and a while. When I did pinch hit I thought I had to “prove myself” to get the starting position and that would get in my head as I tried to do too much. I believed I failed my junior year at what I was trying to accomplish. However, with any failure comes success. I learned my lesson on not to try to put myself before the team and do too much and I would say this senior year has been a great one. I know I’m not starting and I get an at-bat every once in a while, but when I do I try to do the best for my team and not myself.

Psalm 133:1- “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”