Top-ranked MLB prospect Holliday wastes no time pointing to Jesus in his debut

Baltimore Orioles rookie Jackson Holliday just played in his first few games in the majors, and he’s already pointing people to Jesus.

Holliday made his Major League Baseball debut April 10…

Baltimore Orioles rookie Jackson Holliday just played in his first few games in the majors, and he’s already pointing people to Jesus.

Holliday made his Major League Baseball debut April 10 after being number-one overall pick in the 2022 draft and baseball’s top prospect. Ninth in the batting order, Holliday’s first official on-field action took place fielding in the bottom of the first.

When Holliday walked out to his second base assignment, he stooped down to touch the dirt as part of a longstanding tradition. The action piqued the interest of reporters, leading to a question during Holliday’s media availability after the game.

“In the bottom of the first, right before the inning started, you went kind of behind second base and touched the dirt. Did you draw something in the dirt, is that kind of a tradition for you?” a reporter asked

“Yeah, it’s kind of a routine to draw a cross,” Holliday answered. “I wouldn’t be here without Jesus, honestly. His love that he’s had on me and blessed me with the ability to play baseball, and to be here today, I probably wouldn’t be anywhere without him.” 

The tradition is “just kind of a routine that I have before every inning or at the beginning of the game on defense, or before every at bat,” the 20-year-old continued. “Just giving thanks to the Lord.” 

Holliday drove in a run and secured an important double play late in the game as the Orioles outlasted the Boston Red Sox 7-5 in Fenway Park. 

“Obviously, I would have liked to have gotten a few hits, but the overall experience was pretty incredible,” Holliday said of his debut. “To go out there and win and have an RBI, it’s pretty awesome just to be here.” 

The rookie infielder noted that a significant part of what made his debut special was who was watching from the stands, including his father, seven-time MLB all-star Matt Holliday, who retired from the sport just over six years ago. 

“It’s really cool to be able to look over there and have him and my brother and my grandpa sitting down the line,” he said. “It was really cool to be able to see them, and it’s quite an experience.”  

Holliday credits his father for raising him in the Christian faith and providing a stellar example as a Christian professional athlete. 

“Faith has always been important to me,” he told faith-based sports site “His Huddle” before the MLB draft. “I’m so grateful to be raised in a Christian home and have such great examples around me of how to be a follower of Christ.” 

Holliday added that he wants to represent the Lord well in both his on-field and off-the-field actions, making it his goal to honor Him. 

As part of those off-the-field actions, Holliday and his wife Chloe recently visited the Dominican Republic on an impactful trip with Compassion International

When asked what he’s most grateful for in an interview with Sports Spectrum the year he was drafted, Holliday didn’t hesitate to give first place to Jesus. 

“I’d say just, Jesus died on the cross for our sins because we’re obviously not perfect, and we sin a lot,” he said. “For Him to love us so much, for Him to send his only Son to die for us, I am forever grateful for that.” 

Holliday joins an Orioles squad full of young talent, including Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, who both debuted over the last two years as highly ranked prospects. Rutschman and Henderson are also strong believers, devoted to team Bible studies and Sunday chapel services. 

Regardless of where his promising career takes him, Holliday is dedicated to making sure his platform counts in light of the Gospel: 

“I just want to be able to share the good news and try to let as many people know who Jesus is and how much He loves you.” 

Holliday is expected to start at second base for the remainder of the season for the defending American League East champion Orioles.