One for the Home Team

Upon entering the Southridge High School cafeteria, you hear shouts of "Moose"! As you turn to see who could possibly be called "Moose" your eyes catch him — a 6-foot, 3-inch blonde baseball player weighing in at 280 pounds. Though his size is intimidating and grabs your attention, you quickly learn that his heart is what takes center stage.

You won't find Travis "Moose" Mattair eating at the favorite fast food place, hanging with the other "jocks" or even with the prettiest girls. But you will find him with the special needs kids. His enormous heart can also be seen in his love of laughter and how he lights up when he greets a friend — which is every person who passes.

Travis started coming to Young Life as a freshman. Even then he stood out. A phenomenal athlete and leader, his peers flocked to him. When he came to club, so did 20 other kids! He sang songs loud and proud. He participated in every game — to win. And he took in every talk.

After his freshman year, Travis went to Malibu Club as a camper where he began a relationship with Jesus Christ. The commitment was as genuine and strong as he is. During his sophomore year he was a student leader and returned to Malibu — watching his best friends meet Christ.

Throughout his junior and senior years, Travis continued to serve Christ through Young Life as a student leader, encouraging everyone he met to go to club and camp. Every year, he gave his testimony at club.

At the end of his senior year, Travis was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Two weeks after graduation in 2007, he was on a plane to Tampa to play minor league baseball.

Now playing for the Lakewood Blue Claws, Travis is working his way up in the minor leagues. Despite his busy schedule, he continues to help with Young Life. During the off season Travis comes to club — again playing the games to win, offering rides to anyone who needs them and sharing his testimony. He stays in contact with Rich Ward, his area director, for spiritual guidance, helping him stay the course in the midst of professional sports. He openly admits that without Young Life introducing him to Christ, he wouldn't be in the place he is now.

Travis is passionate about Christ and Young Life. For every home run he hits, he pays a kid's way to camp. Rich Ward often gets text messages that read "sent a kid to camp today" — meaning he hit one out of the park. Additionally, Travis donated a significant amount to create a camp scholarship fund for local students. Not too many 19-year-olds would part with their money for other kids. But Travis knows how much meeting Jesus Christ through Young Life has changed his life. He wants every kid to have the same opportunity to know Jesus. Like the kids he's helping now, Travis was made for this!