Articles, Blog

Matt’s Story: Baseball Player’s Shameful Secret is Exposed and His Life Restored

Matt’s Story: Baseball Player’s Shameful Secret is Exposed and His Life Restored


I JUST WANTED ONE DAY IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES. AND IT GOT TO THE POINT WHERE I LITERALLY WOULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING, AND I DID. THAT FIRST DAY, WHEN THAT NEEDLE WENT IN… VERY DARK TIME. IT WAS… IT WAS LIKE A BLANKET OF JUST DARK. MIDWESTERN TOWN, CATHOLIC FAMILY, EIGHT KIDS, MOM AND DAD. DAD WORKED LIKE CRAZY. MOM WAS AND STILL IS AN EARTHLY ANGEL… AMAZING… WOMAN… SHE’S…SHE’S REALLY… THE PERSON I… SHE INTRODUCED ME TO JESUS. SHE…I SAW CHRIST IN HER; AND THAT’S WHAT WAS ATTRACTIVE TO ME. YEAH, WENT TO ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY, RED SHIRT FRESHMAN. MY JUNIOR YEAR, 1992, DID NOT GET DRAFTED. GOT A CALL FROM THE DODGERS, GLEN VAN PROYEN WAS THE SCOUT, AND HE SAID, “HEY, THERE’S NO…. WE NEED A COUPLE BODIES IN OUR SHORT SEASON A CLUB. THERE’S NO GUARANTEE’S HERE; DO YOU WANT TO PLAY SOME PRO BALL?” I SAID, “YEAH.” 1992, 1999, AFTER EIGHT YEARS IN THE MINOR LEAGUE I FINALLY GOT MY FIRST CALL. THE YEAR BEFORE I GOT THAT CALL UP TO THE BIG LEAGUES IN 1999 I WENT DOWN TO AUSTRALIA TO PLAY IN WINTER BALL. TIME IS RUNNING OUT, CLOCKWISE, GETTING OLDER, 28 AT THE TIME; AND A LONG TIME TO BE IN THE MINOR LEAGUE WITHOUT BEING RELEASED… OR MAKING IT. SO, NOT THAT I STARTED PANICKING BUT I STARTED GETTING DESPERATE. AND I MET A GENTLEMAN AT THE GYM AND HE WAS A BIG BODYBUILDER GUY. AND I SAID, “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT STEROIDS?” AND THAT’S THE ROAD I STARTED TAKING. THE MORE I GOT INTO IT, IN TERMS OF WHERE MY MIND WAS GOING WITH IT, THE FURTHER I WAS PULLING AWAY FROM GOD. TO THE POINT WHERE I MADE THE DECISION, “I’M GONE… I’M DOING IT.” AND IT WAS… IT WAS A HORRIBLE, SHAMEFUL FEELING. IT WAS… IT WAS OPPRESSIVE. YEAH, IT WAS LIKE A BLACK BLANKET OF JUST SHAME. AND IT WAS MY SECRET, IT WAS THAT… THERE’S GOING TO BE NO CONFESSION… AT ALL. FIRST DAY I MET MY WIFE WE HAD A MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION; THE FIRST MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE, BECAUSE SHE LITERALLY FLAT OUT SAID, “HAVE YOU EVER DONE STEROIDS?” AND IT WAS AN IMMEDIATE “NO, NO NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.” AND SO I CARRIED THAT FOR YEARS. I’M A CHRISTIAN, I’M A CHRIST FOLLOWER. HOW THE CONDITION OF MY HEART GOT SO HARDENED TO WHERE I CAN SAY, “YOU KNOW WHAT? I GOT IT NOW. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, I DON’T THINK YOU CAN… I CAN’T TRUST YOU TO GETTING ME TO MY DREAM HERE. I’M GOING TO TAKE IT INTO MY OWN HANDS.” THAT’S WHAT… NOW, THAT’S WHAT KILLS ME THE MOST. THAT’S WHAT HURTS THE MOST. THE FACT THAT I COULD DO THAT. YEAH, THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT HE LOVES US MORE THAN WE CAN EVER IMAGINE. GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER SENATOR WAS COMMISSIONED TO LOOK IN TO PERFORMANCE ENHANCING USE IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. THE HORROR OF BEING FOUND OUT, KNOWING THAT I’M ABOUT READY TO BE FOUND OUT. NO SLEEP. JUST THAT HORRIBLE PIT IN YOUR STOMACH AND THEN WHEN I SAW MY NAME SCROLL ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE TV IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. IT WAS LIKE, “OKAY,” IT WAS LIKE A WEIGHT LIKE I NEVER FELT BEING LIFTED. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE, AND I NEVER,
THAT I NIGHT I NEVER SLEPT BETTER… NEVER SLEPT BETTER. IT HAD BEEN ALL ABOUT ME. AND ALL ABOUT WHERE I WANTED TO GO. NOTHING ELSE MATTERED. PEOPLE
DIDN’T MATTER AS MUCH. I MEAN, IT WAS ABOUT ME. AND DISGUSTING; IT DISGUSTED ME. NOW, PLAYING CAREER OVER. BEING FOUND OUT… A FATHER… A HUSBAND. WHAT DRIVES ME NOW IS THE PEOPLE THAT I’M IN CONTACT WITH DAILY. HOW CAN I LOVE THEM? HOW CAN I BE A WITNESS FOR JESUS? WHAT, HOW CAN I MAKE JESUS ATTRACTIVE TO THE PEOPLE I’M AROUND EVERY DAY? THE PLAYERS, THE COACHES, THE EXECUTIVES… HOW CAN I MAKE JESUS FAMOUS? BECAUSE MY WHOLE LIFE I WAS JUST TRYING TO MAKE MYSELF FAMOUS. HOW CAN I MAKE JESUS FAMOUS IN WHAT I’M DOING? I THINK THAT’S WHAT DRIVES ME NOW.

3 comments

The story of Matt Herges is not unlike what most of us go through at different times in our lives. Often we who are believers choose to engage in the seedy underworld in order to advance further in life (whether we are pursuing something professionally, financially, socially or otherwise). Instead of maintaining God's perspective over that area of our life, we yield to forces which take us further away from where God would have us or how God would want us to pursue achieving particular objectives. From this video, I am grateful that Matt Herges has the humbleness to step forward and openly convey a story about his life that at one time may have caused shame and embarrassment but now provides hope and inspiration. Thank you for sharing your testimony Mr. Herges. I was inspired by what you had to say.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *