Four Red Sox players climbed out of their dugout and onto its roof Sunday evening to talk with fans at the second annual Faith Day at Fenway event.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Daniel Bard, Daniel Nava and Mark Melancon, as well as Kathryn Nixon, wife of former Red Sox player Trot Nixon, told the crowd gathered in the seats along the first-base line how their faith has impacted their experiences in baseball, parenthood and life in general.
Pitcher Daniel Bard spoke initimately about his struggles on the field this season and his unexpected trip down to the minors after feeling secure in his Major League position.
He explained that worries about being able to provide for his family and whether he had a future in baseball weighed on him, but he found comfort in his faith.
"These are the words straight from Jesus' mouth: 'Don't worry about tomorrow, I will provide for you,'" Bard told the crowd. "I'm glad I realized that early on. My hope was in him, my faith was in him. No, I'm not in the exact situation I planned for, that I want to be in, but I'm going to make the best of it.
He added, "I know that God's plan is greater for me than the plan I have for myself."
As the sun set over Fenway Park, Mike Hong, worship leader at City on a Hill Church in Brookline, led the audience in praise and worship songs and drew the attention of patrons at the Bleacher Bar, the establishment with a view into Fenway Park from a doorway in the Green Monster. Customers lined the gate to listen to the music and hear the players offer their testimonies.
Bland Mason, Brookline pastor and Baseball Chapel's chapel leader to the Red Sox, introduced each player and summed up the 45-minute event. He encouraged the crowd to follow the example of the players and Nixon who identified themselves with something that "transcends being a teacher or doctor or baseball player."