Bret Saberhagen shares personal journey and nonprofit mission with FCA club members

TEMPLETON — Back in late March, Templeton students received words of wisdom from two-time Cy Young Award and Gold Glove winner Bret Saberhagen. The 1985 World Series MVP came to the campus to share his story for students a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

FCA is an international nonprofit Christian sports ministry that can be found on many campuses throughout the nation. At Templeton High School, there are about 50 members.

Senior Morgan Ruiz has been a part of FCA since her freshman year. This year, she is president of the club and explained why she decided to join the club: “I feel like Christianity in high school, or just in general, is very overlooked. And I felt like being a part of FCA, it would help me find more friends that were like me. And because I came from a private school in Paso … joining the club felt like a good way to make friends and find people.”


Ruiz adds that while FCA was created to share their faith on high school campuses, they are welcoming to any students who just want to hang out. 

“We play games and come hear about the Lord and like what he has to say,” she said. “And, and it’s a way to make it life-changing, but not forceful life-changing … I would say it’s, it’s just a safe environment to learn more about your faith.”

Periodically, the club has speakers come to the campus to talk to students about their life story and their relationship with their faith. Ruiz says that Saberhagen was one of their most-attended speakers.

Saberhagen was born in Chicago and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. However, in the last few years, he has lived in North County. He told the students that his dad wasn’t around growing up which had some impact on his life. For 18 years, Saberhagen played Major League Baseball, primarily for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox in the 1980s and ’90s.

“Baseball was always one of those things that I really loved,” said Saberhagen.

Saberhagen spoke about his relationship with faith growing up and baseball, which brought him closer to it later in life.

“It’s always great to pray for things you want or need, but praying is so [much] bigger than just asking for things,” explained Saberhagen. “With our nonprofit, we’re helping families going through cancer. We pray for a lot of people’s health.”

In 2021, Saberhagen founded his nonprofit SabesWings with his wife Kandace. Through Kandace’s own battle with breast cancer, the two learned about the significant costs that come with treatments, including experimental drugs or therapies that are not covered by health insurance.

“If somebody that you know might be going through cancer and having troubles with their payments, we would love to help,” said Saberhagen of his nonprofit. “We can pay directly to the bill. We help try to alleviate all the debt if possible, if not the portion of it, but we also have other resources that we can direct you to.”

One familiar name is currently one of SabesWings’ beneficiaries. As 7-year-old Kyndal Gottfried of Atascadero continues with treatment for medulloblastoma, the most common malignant tumor found in children, SabesWings has stepped in to help pay for the associated costs. Kyndal was first diagnosed with cancer over two years ago. You can read more about her story at

Learn more about SabesWings at

Feature Image: Former Major League Baseball pitcher Bret Saberhagen (second from left), is shown with Templeton High School students (from left) Ali Cathcart, Morgan Ruiz, and Luke Thompson during his talk with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) members on campus. Photo by Matt Macfarlane