From ‘van man’ to man of God: Quirky Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris

From ‘van man’ to man of God: Quirky Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

My three favorite holidays: Thanksgiving. Christmas. Opening Day.

I’m on vacation from my regular job this week and headed — as soon as I can type this post and throw a few baseball shirts and jeans into a suitcase — to Arlington, Texas. My beloved Texas Rangers open the 2017 season at home tonight against the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians.

If you need me, I’ll be Section 115, Row 33, Seat 5.

Given the peanuts-and-Cracker Jacks nature of this Monday, it seems only appropriate that I critique a baseball story — and thanks to my friend Ron Hadfield, an avid Detroit Tigers fan, I’ve got a terrific one to highlight.

“Here’s one Detroit sportswriter unafraid to write about a player’s faith,” Hadfield said in sharing a link to this story.

If you’re a baseball fan and a GetReligion reader (by my rough count, there are three of you), I know what you’re thinking about this ghost-free Detroit Free Press profile of Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris.

And I agree: It’s about time someone in the mainstream press delved into Norris’ faith and took it seriously. We’ve been begging for this since Norris first burst onto the national scene with an in-depth ESPN the Magazine profile two years ago.

Read the full column.

• • •

More of my GetReligion columns (April 2017):

A year later, Wall Street Journal revisits ‘Target’s pricey social lesson’ on transgender bathrooms. Published April 6.

‘You can’t give in’: an incredible story of faith and forgiveness by NBA coach after wife’s tragic death. Published April 7.

Baseball ghostbusters: Digging deeper into the faith of Texas Rangers third base coach who beat cancer. Published April 10.

Religion-free political obits as scandalized Alabama ‘love gov’ resigns? Believe it or not, yes. Published April 11.

News story or editorial? Slanted Associated Press report on death penalty stacked with opponents. Published April 14.

To celebrate Easter, another major news organization flubs the never-ending ‘Two Corinthians’ controversy. Published April 17.

Baylor again has a Baptist president — its first female head — and other relevant details on her hiring. Published April 19.

Almost heaven, West Virginia: How to cover dispute over Bible classes in public schools the right way. Published April 24.

Jailhouse religion and the case of the elite national newspaper that chose to ignore it. Published April 25.

No, Lester Holt didn’t used to be the lead singer at his church. He used to lead SINGING. Published April 27.

The rest of my April 2017 columns:

Breaking news from Indy Star: Christian schools tout, um, Christian beliefs and behavior. Published April 4.

Ala. governor’s demise ‘a bitter blow’ for Christians? Maybe so, but New York Times doesn’t prove it. Published April 13.

Texas is making it more difficult for women to get abortions, and Politico can’t hide its concern. Published April 18.

Conservative, moderate, liberal: A few more thoughts on Baylor, Baptists and theological labels. Published April 20.

Wednesday is the new Sunday, a major paper reports, but are there any theological implications to that? Published April 28.