By Jordan Grantham, Catholic Outlook, March 2017
Jacob Younis represented Australia in the Baseball U23 World Cup in Mexico late last year. The Christ the King, North Rocks, parishioner and Parramatta Marist High old boy helped Australia win the Silver Medal, going down to world number one Japan in the Grand Final.
Jacob was recognised as All-World Team – Short Stop, Tournament Leading Hitter and Most Runs Scored (17).
“Sometimes in the sporting world it’s easy to forget that God is there when things are going well, so saying thank you when things are going well is a strong belief of mine, and not to just seek his help when times are tough,” Jacob said.
The 23-year-old short stop played professional baseball in the US for the Minnesota Twins when he was just 16. Last year, he represented German pro team the Hamburg Stealers. Jacob currently plays for the Sydney Blue Sox.
Jacob’s close family nurtured his interest and talent. “My parents played a massive role in my life. They taught me everything I know and continue to make sure I grow as an individual,” he said.
“Not only my parents but my brother and sister have been very supportive from day one of my adventure in life.
“My first experience was growing up watching my Dad play from the sideline as a four year old, then playing my first year of tee ball at age five and I have never looked back.”
In his teens, Jacob played for the Combined Catholic College Team and the Australian Schoolboys Team.
American Catholics, such as veteran journalist John L Allen, love to claim that baseball is the most Catholic sport. With teams like the St Louis ‘Cardinals’ and the San Diego ‘Padres’, they may well have a point.
Elements of baseball that remind people of Catholicism include the ritual of the game, fan traditions, reverence for heroes of the past and undying team loyalty, even against the worst odds.
Baseball is renowned for its nicknames and Jacob’s favourite player from baseball history is David Jeter, nicknamed ‘Captain Clutch’, of the New York Yankees. “He was an icon of the sport and was the perfect role model.”
Posted on 10 March 2017.