Chris Coghlan: Defining what it means to be an angel in the outfield

CLEARWATER, Fla – Major league outfielder Chris Coghlan is an athlete by nature, but he is an angel by practice.

Chris Coghlan’s grandparents, Aline and Phil, of Williamsburg, VA, speak highly of their grandson and with good reason.


Aline Coghlan said the three words that describe her grandson best are: “grateful, faithful, and competitive.”

His “Competitive” side, they said, came naturally.

Phil Coghlan, who witnessed his grandson’s athletic talent from an early age remembered, “I pitched the waffle ball with him and his dad caught. I was about 20 feet from him and he was only about four years old, but he drove me back 50 feet. He knocked me off my feet completely.”

His competitive nature followed him into adulthood and is evident in his career success. He was signed to the Miami Marlins immediately after college, he won MLB Rookie of the Year in 2009 and he won the World Series with the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

Chris Coghlan’s gratitude and faith, however, had to be learned.

When his father died in a car accident in 2001, Coghlan was only 15-years-old.

His grandmother said, “Chris especially took it hard and he locked himself in the bathroom. He wouldn’t come out until two of his high school coaches came over and talked him out. They sort of adopted him at that time and were close to him.”

Chris Coghlan’s coaches were born again Christians, and they inspired Chris to develop his own faith.

On every baseball that Coghlan has autographed, he wrote a verse from the Bible — Romans 8:13.

The verse says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Coghlan’s faith prompted him to show his gratitude for his God-given talents by giving back.

After his World Series win, Coghlan presented his grandfather with his World Series ball cap and said, “Pops, there’s only 25 of these in existence and I want you to have it.”

Coghlan also shows his gratitude by giving back to the community. He has taken his teammates to see hospitalized children and brought the children who were well enough to the field to watch his games.

Coghlan doesn’t like to publicize these actions.

His grandfather said, he does it because “He has the love of God in his heart.”


               Michael Nelson









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