BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - Brent Leach of Brandon will tell you that baseball is in his blood. On the mound for Brandon High School two decades ago, the lefty relief pitcher would go on to play for Delta State, and before that, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Then, after some time with minor league teams, it happened.
“In the 6th ground Tommy Lasorda called my name, and I was like holy cow! I got drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers!” Leach tells us. “May 6 2009 was my debut.”
Leach would play in 40 games for the Dodgers.
“I always joke that baseball doesn’t love you back like you love it, you can’t play that game forever, and we all know that someday it’s going to come to an end so you might as well enjoy each and every time you can put on the jersey,” he says.
Leach played for a few more years in the U.S. and Japan, then in 2016 came home.
He coached, gave baseball lessons, and prayed about the future.
Then, just a few months ago, another calling. This time from First Baptist Church of Brandon. Senior Pastor Jeremy Nottingham, who just moved to Mississippi two years ago from Texas, is Leach’s neighbor.
“As we began talking, I began sensing, he may be called into the ministry,” Nottingham tells us.
“That calling was on me, I just never knew what the answer was going to be,” says Leach.
Now, Leach is in the church full-time, heading up the men’s ministry and the sports ministry. It’s allowing him to provide for others what was so generously given to him by church leaders and mentors so long ago.
“That’s where I saw other men living for Jesus, and through that I think Jesus was using me from a young age to be used for him,” he says.
“I think people are drawn to him knowing what all he’s done and accomplished,” Nottingham adds.
It’s a new avenue for the athlete, that fits like a glove.
“I’m just excited to see where the journey is going to take me,” Leach says.