The hometown Washington Nationals hosted a Catholic University College Night at the ballpark Sept. 19 and starting pitcher Trevor Williams spoke on campus just a day later.
Hundreds of University students, faculty, and staff took in a 4-3 win over the White Sox Sept. 19 and received a Nationals-Catholic University co-branded quarter-zip pullover. The Nationals reserved a section for Catholic University employees and their guests and families as Cardinal and Nationals pride combined.
University President Peter K. Kilpatrick was on the field before the game, meeting the University’s mascot, Red, and the Nationals mascot, Screech, while also greeting members of the ROTC.
Less than 24 hours later, Williams, an outspoken Catholic, came to campus for a conversation about faith, family, and baseball in Father O'Connell Hall.
Joining Williams on stage was Athletic Director Kevin Robinson Jr. and Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P., the chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.
Williams acknowledged that balancing family life with the 162-game grind of a baseball season is a challenge, particularly when losses and struggles mount.
“The best thing I can tell myself is that the sun will come up tomorrow,” he said.
Williams said turning to Sts. Joseph and Benedict keep him humble and centered with his family.
“At home, we do our best to pray together as a family,” Williams said.
He uses applications and alarms on his phone to remind him to pray at certain times of the day, even at the ballpark. On the road, Williams said he has found a kinship with Christian and Catholic players across the professional sports landscape.
“You can see, with highly-driven people, there’s a correlation with a faith life because they know this game doesn’t matter,” Williams said.
Williams, who attended Arizona State University, talked to Catholic University athletes about shaping their own lives correctly.
“Being a student-athlete was probably the most stressful time of my life,” Williams admitted. “You have to prioritize. You’re here to grow in your faith, grow in your life as a student, and grow in the sport. If you’re going to mess up that order, you will see the ramifications.”
See more photos from the College Night at Nationals Park and Trevor Williams' appearance on campus by University photographer Patrick G. Ryan.