Lance Zawadzki, who became an NAIA All-American for the Lee University baseball team in 2007, returned to the Lee campus in a different role this week and spoke in the chapel.
Zawadzki helped direct the Flames to the NAIA World Series in 2007 and later was drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Padres. He reached the majors in 2010 and singled in his first plate appearance.
Battling injury during his six-year professional career, Zawadzki has been with five different organizations and played with a sports hernia during this past season with Buffalo, an AAA club for the Toronto Blue Jays. He recently underwent surgery to repair the hernia and is recovering during the off-season.
“I’m really proud of Lance and what he has accomplished on the baseball field,” said Lee coach Mark Brew. “However, more importantly Lance has committed to incorporating and sharing his faith into his professional career.
“The challenge he issued in chapel was applicable to whatever you may be struggling with in life. His transparency about his personal testimony was very impactful to all in attendance. I couldn’t be prouder as his coach about the growth he has experienced since his time at Lee.”
Lee campus pastor Jimmy Harper shared the same feelings. “I’ve enjoyed following Lance’s career as a player here at Lee and then through minor league ball and during his stint with the San Diego Padres,” Harper said.
“Lance is a great athlete but a much greater person. His life has purpose much beyond baseball; it’s great to know that he understands that God does have a plan for him …. And Lance is ready to see that plan through as he follows after God!”