- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"I think it's a good thing, absolutely," says Horn, the former catcher. "One thing that baseball has is its numbers. Baseball numbers are sacred. Anything to preserve the integrity of the numbers is paramount."
Horn, now 41, went back to school after he retired, was intrigued by an anatomy class and wound up at medical school in Utah, where he is doing his residency as an anesthesiologist. Dr. Crash Davis, if you will. "I don't think there's anybody in my past who thought I'd ever be a doctor," he says. "My parents are still floored."
Keith Linebarger, 41, works as a technician in a metallurgical lab in Georgia, and he coaches kids. Kevin Legault, 41, delivers mail near Watervliet. Brett Roberts completed his college degree, obtained a masters in school administration and is the assistant principal and athletic director at South Webster High in southern Ohio.
"Roberts, Legault, Linebarger, those guys to me, they are men of integrity," says Steve Liddle, the former Fort Myers Miracle manager who's now the Twins' third base coach. "They played the game clean and took their chances on God-given abilities. They didn't seek out any synthetic help. They have nothing to be ashamed of."
Occasionally Linebarger thinks about what his career might have been like if he hadn't played in the Steroid Era. His first thought is, "Maybe I could have made it." One thing he knows: Having played the game clean in a dirty era is not what he considers an accomplishment. "That's not something to be proud of," Linebarger says. "I guess you could look at it and say, 'That's normal.' That's not a feather in my cap. That's just common sense."
The 10:15 service, the second of two on Sunday mornings, is nearly full of worshippers at The Rock Community Church. It's not a church in the classic sense of stone and steeple. It's more like a hotel-style ballroom inside a modern building in a Yorba Linda, Calif., industrial park. There are five sections of chairs, a stage with elaborate lighting, three video screens and singing. Lots of singing. Two men play soft Christian rock, and the worshippers are enthralled. They sway and stand with arms aloft when the spirit moves them.
Dan Naulty attends with his wife, Cassie, and two sons, ages five and seven. He has come back to Orange County a changed man, and not just because his body is lean and lanky again. After he quit baseball, he started the Dan Naulty Pitching Academy, in which he gave baseball clinics as a way to introduce people to Jesus. He has earned a B.A. at Moody Bible Institute, a masters degree from Iliff School of Theology and a postgraduate degree in applied theology from Oxford University. He pastored in Washington state before joining The Rock Community Church, with its congregation of about 500, in April.
Everywhere he went, Pastor Dan told his story, including his experience as a victim of sexual abuse, as part of his testimony. "What I've done as a Christian so far exceeds what I did in baseball," he says. He holds no secrets anymore. "I'm fully transparent, to the point that many Christians are a little uncomfortable."
Horn spoke with Naulty three years ago when Naulty was studying at Oxford. "It sounds like he's real remorseful," Horn says. "You spend your life trying to get the gold ring. A lot of us never get there. He did. I can't imagine what he was going through on that bridge. I'm so glad he didn't jump. He has so many good things to offer people."
Naulty sold the Corvette. He never wears his World Series ring—he rarely even takes it out of the safe where it is stored. The major league money? Gone. It went to pay for years of therapy and counseling. "It's a funny thing," he says. "I thought I was going to be a millionaire playing baseball, and I ended up using all the money to try to heal myself."