PEORIA — Ben Zobrist made a rare social media appearance Wednesday, posting a self-made video on his Instagram account to deliver an update on his life.
Zobrist first mentioned Champion Forward in a Journal Star interview in late March, when he was in Peoria for his induction to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. He talked that night about life after baseball allowing him to spend time with his kids, and with a non-profit organization he is building from its infancy.
“We’re going to address youth competitors, their caretakers and coaches,” Zobrist said in March. “Try to address and help them with emotional, mental and relationship health as they play sports together.
“So we’re kind of addressing the mental health epidemic among youth right now, burnout, isolation and performance pressure.”
He elaborated on that project, and his daily life, in the video update he released on Wednesday.
“I can’t believe it’s been four years since I posted anything on social media and almost four years since I retired from baseball …” Zobrist said on his Instagram post. “… How we’re going to do this, is, we’re going to have some speaking engagements I’ll be doing, some events we’re developing. We’ve got tools and resources online … mental health, mental skills, emotional health, emotional skills, intelligence is all very important, not just for being the best version of yourself on the field, but also, how do you become the best version of yourself off the field?
“I want to help you with that.”
Zobrist spent 14 seasons in the majors with Tampa Bay, Oakland, Kansas City and Chicago before retiring after the 2019 season. He played 1,651 big-league games, batted .266 and hit 167 home runs. Not bad for a Eureka kid who had no college offers coming out of high school.
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers Bradley men’s basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. He can be reached at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.