By (name) McIVER
McIver Tell us a little bit about your family
Baker I am married to Leann and we have two beautiful boys, Elijah and Easton. Three and one are their ages. It’s incredible. It’s just unbelievable the amount of blessings that God’s given me… an awesome wife and two beautiful boys. And an excellent upbringing…I didn’t have a choice but to go to church in our household. I don’t think you realize until later in life how much you appreciate those types of things.
McIver When did you ask Jesus come into your heart and life, and what has that meant to you?
Baker I was very fortunate to have a Christian upbringing and we’d go to church all the time and made that decision very young. I made that decision, but I think it’s a continual process to learn and grow in Christ. And I’m just very thankful for that opportunity.
McIver You chose to come and worship the Lord. Why is that a priority in your life?
Kevin To be able to come here and hopefully affect one person, if that’s all we do, that’s way more important than the outcome of any game any season.
McIver You were asked by a reporter this year to talk about your family and who had been the greatest influence in your life. And you mentioned your dad. So many of us don’t have a dad we can look up to, but you had that gift in your life, so share about that.
Slowey Sure. Well, my dad is still my best friend. I come from a pretty big family; I have two brothers and two sisters. I got along really well with all my siblings. I had serious talks with my dad over coffee in the morning; he would come visit me in college, or, over dinner after a game. We really never talked about baseball. We just talked about life
I’ll never forget being 6 and 7 years old and he made sure he came to our baseball games. He would come straight from the office in shirt and tie. He’d be wearing a suit and walk on the field and get his shoes all dirty.
He was always there for me and I think that he really is a very wise individual. He’s seen a lot of life and he was able to pass along some of his knowledge to me and the most important bit is his faith, and I feel like that’s the greatest gift he could have ever given me.
McIver You were asked by a reporter what you would like to go back and rewrite in your life. I appreciated your response!
Slowey I don’t want to go back and change anything because the struggles are such a learning curve I really do believe that you learn more in failures than in successes. When you succeed all the time you never have a reason to look around for any help. When you fail I think you’re very much reminded about how weak you are. You’re not going to be able to do everything.
McIver You’ve said one of the highlights of your career is playing for the United States in Cuba. That has to be quite the experience with so many people cheering against you at one time. How do you focus at that moment?
Slowey That, like you said, was one of the greatest baseball experiences of my life, getting a chance to play in a foreign and hostile country. The funny thing about that was that the guy I roomed with in Cuba, his name was Henry Owens. He was at the New York Mets organization at the time and was recently traded to the Florida Marlins (No. 77 relief pitcher) and got hurt.
He was a strong Christian as well and the only other Christian on the team. He was my roommate. I remember before that game he said “Hey, are you nervous, are you worried?” And I said, “Yah, a little bit.” He handed me his iPod to listen to on the way to the field in the dugout. And the entire iPod was full of worship music. I listened to that before the game and it had an amazing calming effect. I think you could listen to the words as we did today here and be reminded that no matter what situation you’re in, it really is all about Jesus. It’s a good way to go into any situation.
McIver I know that you read God’s Word. Is there a part in scripture or a particular verse that you would like to share today? Because you never know who has come into a situation that needs part of that scripture.
Slowey Sure, there are actually a couple of verses that are my favorite, for kind of odd reasons. I’m sure most of the Christians you talk to will say there’s a verse in Philippians, the fourth chapter, that they really appreciate. But mine isn’t the 13th verse. It’s verses 6 and 7, where we…[are] extolled to never be anxious, but in everything with prayer and petition and thanksgiving ask the Lord…what you want, and the Lord in turn promises peace that passes all understanding.
The other one is a verse in Zechariah—Zechariah 4.6. It does not matter how much money you have or how much power you think you have, physically. But by the Lord’s Spirit you can do anything.
McIver Tell us about your wife. When you first saw her what was that first impression?
Everett My wife and I are high school sweethearts. We got introduced through some friends. But, you know, like anybody else says, “Ah, it was love at first sight.” God works in mysterious ways, I can tell you that.
In ’99 I was in Trenton, New Jersey; she studied abroad in England. So, it’s amazing how God has kept us together and what He has done in our lives and how He has blessed us with two wonderful children—wonderful little girls.
McIver You have a daughter who has special challenges ahead of her. When God presents that to us, when that’s allowed in our lives, something remarkable happens. I know it’s happened to you. Tell us about your daughter.
Everett My oldest daughter is Peyton. She’s 3 1/2. She actually called me this morning. The last three years of my life have been, needless to say, a struggle. You know, I’d give everything up if my daughter was healthy. And she is healthy; I don’t want you to think she’s not healthy. But I’d give everything up to see her live a normal life, which I don’t know if she’ll be able to. Only God knows.
Three and half years ago my wife and I had our first child. The delivery was a little complicated but everything was fine. A few months later we went to the doctor and said, “Something’s just not right.” We kept praying and eventually God brought us a pediatrician in Houston. He told us that she had a tumor on her spinal chord that had basically stretched her spinal cord down and had wrapped around. It was inevitable that she either get this off or she’s going to be paralyzed from the waist down.
Later on a doctor from Atlanta agreed to perform the surgery. It was a successful surgery. We thank the Lord for the miracle.
Baseball is a very, very humbling sport and if you are not prepared to fail a lot of times, then you’re not prepared to play the game. It really is a tough game not only mentally and physically but spiritually. I don’t know how I could possibly do it without some type of eternal perspective, knowing this is not the end of the road.