In 2007 Robinzon Diaz and his wife, Fiordaliza (Fior) Soto, were married, and they planned to start a family right away. By 2008 Robinzon and Fior realized they had infertility problems. They consulted a doctor and were informed Robinzon’s counts were too low which made it highly unlikely to conceive. Robinzon shares, “I was prescribed medication by the doctor. I went to pick up the medication; however, I purchased no medicine because the ‘Voice’ of the Lord spoke to me. The ‘Voice,’ speaking to my spirit, said, ‘You know only I can give you what you want.’ It was such an overwhelming experience when I was told by the Spirit of the Lord I was going to be a father.” It was at that moment Robinzon totally committed his life to Christ and committed to live his life in a way that is pleasing to God.
But it wasn’t always that way. Robinzon grew up in a very small town of Wanoma in the Dominican Republic which was a very poor, close knit community. He lived with his father, Demetrio Diaz, and mother, Guadulupez Enriyuez, and two brothers and a sister. “My family came from a Catholic background which is common in our country,” comments Robinzon. “We did not go to church often to practice our faith consistently. However, we always had a Bible in our home. From an early age, we read the Bible a lot as a family. It was the beginning of believing in the Word of God. Reading the Word and praying daily, I prayed to God to help me fully understand His Word and to make it meaningful to help me throughout my life and to grow as a Christian.”
“I finally took the step”
Though Robinzon grew up reading God’s Word and trying to understand it and trying to relate to the Savior, Jesus, he was not living his faith. There was no real commitment on his part. No matter what he was going through in his life, he would always go back to the Scriptures. He explains, “Whether I was drinking or other wrong behavior, regardless, I would always come home to the Bible. At the time I was not a committed Christian; and, outwardly, that was how people saw me. But I always felt connected through Scripture. Everything kept coming back to me in the reading as I continued to understand the words of Christ. That was the way it was for me until I finally took the step of committing my life to Christ and live as a Christian man.”
At a time when Robinzon was playing professional baseball, he came to realize he wanted to confess his faith in Christ. The step was important to him at the time. However, he would backslide because he was not fully committed in his walk with the Lord. “I wanted to be, but I was still trying to find my way into Christ and into God’s Word. I felt I have always known Christ but in a different way through the readings. All the preaching and sermons I heard did not bring me as close to Christ as my personal reading of Scripture. I always knew as a child I loved Christ through my reading.”
Although Robinzon considered himself a man of faith, he still fell short as a Christian until 2008 when he heard a “Voice” that brought him to his knees. He gave himself totally to the Lord.
“He truly lives out his faith”
Marcus Hanel, the other bullpen catcher for the Brewers, had this to say, “Robinzon is a true man of God. You will never not see a smile on his face no matter the circumstance and no matter what’s going on. He is always joyful and praising the Lord. He is a true light in this clubhouse, on the field, and in the bullpen. Believers and unbelievers wish to be around him because he is that special of a guy. He truly lives out his faith which is special to see.”
“Living in a small community everyone knows each other,” explains Robinzon. “After my first girlfriend and I broke off our relationship, I started to get to know Fior. She lived in another small town close by; and we would see each other, especially when I went to her town to work out in the off-season. I always ask God to bring me a life partner, and it just work out. We were married in 2007, and we now have two boys, José (9 years) and Elias (4 years).”
Robinzon grew up playing and learning baseball in the Dominican Republic. He signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 and played his first year (2001) in the summer Dominican League. After that first summer, he came to the United States to start his minor league play. Robinzon played 15 years of professional baseball with Toronto (2002-2008), Pittsburgh (2008-2009), Detroit (2010), Texas (2011-2012), Los Angeles of Anaheim (2012), and Milwaukee (2013-2015). He played in parts of two years at the major league level and finished with 44 games between Toronto and Pittsburgh, batting a .281 average including a home run and 20 RBIs. In 2016 he played in the Mexican League. Robinzon was hired to be a bullpen catcher in 2017. He leads Bible studies and answers questions about the Christian faith with the Latin players in their Spanish language. Though he feels every verse is important in the Bible, “Nothing is impossible with God” stands out. Robinzon was the first son to go back home to share with his family to help become active in their Christian faith.
“Being obedient to His Word”
It is important to Robinzon to witness his faith with others. “People need to know what God has done for people,” shares Robinzon. “We need to
understand God sent his only child to die for us, for humanity. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life,’ and we enter into His Kingdom because we believe in Jesus. It is not only confessing our faith but living the way God wants us to live.” Robinzon continues, “It is not only being close to Christ and our God, but also being obedient to His Word and the way He wants us to live. We, in Christ, are the light of the world. It is about the illuminating and brightening the world.”
Brewers first base coach Carlos Subero, shares about Robinzon, “Robinzon was a player I managed in the minor leagues in 2015. He took his relationship with Christ to the heart and is passionate to the Word. In 2017 the Brewers were able to hire him through my recommendation as a second bullpen catcher. He has been a blessing to our players, to our Latin players, and the Latin community. The past three seasons he would do Bible studies on road trips to teach them the Scripture. He takes his relationship with the Lord as a priority to be seen in his life.”
Milwaukee Brewers chaplain, Steve Sonderman comments: “Robinzon always has a smile, always has a positive attitude and always shines the light of Jesus wherever he goes. His impact on the team is unmeasurable, his influence is eternal. One of the greatest joys I have had over the years is getting to know Robbie.”
“God calls his people to be obedient,” comments Robinzon, “I want everyone to find God for their life and to follow God’s Word. We know Christ is going to come, and we must be ready.”
By Bruce A. Darnall, Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Photo by Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers
Special thanks to Brewers’ Spanish translator, Carlos Brizuela