He was the youngest starting pitcher in Dodgers history, which led to some difficult moments for a fresh-faced kid with high ideals who learned to measure success God’s way.
“I was drawn to God,” says Joe Moeller, who played for the Dodgers between 1962 and 1971 and now is an advance scout for the Florida Marlins.
He felt God’s tug on the heart from his earliest days. At only 8-years-old, he snuck out of his house in Manhattan Beach on Sunday mornings to attend a small church down the street. “My parents had no idea I did that,” he says.
While his mother was a Christian Scientist, his hardworking parents slept late on Sunday mornings and showed little interest in church. “My dad didn’t believe in anything,” he says.
Young Moeller walked himself into the back row pew each Sunday but couldn’t comprehend very much of what was happening. “We had a King James Bible at home but I didn’t understand a thing in it.” Still, the Lord continued to draw his heart.
One day a local youth pastor, Jim White, pulled up to Moeller on a motorcycle. “Want a ride?” he asked. It was a divine appointment on wheels.
Moeller accepted and they sped off. After a brief spin, White pulled over and asked Joe a serious question: “Do you know who Jesus Christ is? Moeller wasn’t sure how to respond.
“He’s the Son of God and he died for you,” White told the nine-year-old. “Do you want to accept Him?”