The first weekend of April is a time when we look for information, for an understanding of the changes that have happened in the last six months and how that will help us prepare for the next six months.
This is because the first weekend of April begins the baseball season.
If you follow baseball, (and maybe even if you don’t) you may find it interesting to know which players you see are Mormon, and who might make it to the Majors this year. The team you follow may include a Mormon player you don’t know about, or you might like to know about the Mormon players on visiting teams.
A number of years ago I compiled a list of the Mormons who played in and are playing in the Majors, and this season I decided to update my list, and look at who is active now. [If you are curious, my list includes about 70 Mormons (including inactive LDS Church members and others with Mormon heritage) who have played in the majors.]
[I don't claim my information is complete or absolutely accurate. Some of it comes from information I collected years ago, and some comes from personal information that I've not yet been able to verify in documentation. Any clarification or additional information would be very useful.]
So, here is a quick guide to the Mormons now playing on a major league team, or who were at spring training this year, and therefore may be brought up to the majors during the year:
Current Roster Players:
- John Beck — starting catcher — Kansas City Royals
- Bobby Crosby — backup shortstop — Oakland As
- Brandon Duckworth — right handed bullpen pitcher — Kansas City Royals
- Jacoby Ellsbury — starting outfielder — Boston Red Sox
- Kyle Farnsworth — right handed bullpen pitcher — Kansas City Royals
- Jeremy Guthrie — #1 starting pitcher (right handed) — Baltimore Orioles
- Roy Halladay — #1 starting pitcher (right handed) – Toronto Blue Jays
- Matt Lindstrom — closer (right handed) – Florida Marlins
- Brandon Lyon — right handed bullpen pitcher — Detroit Tigers
Minor League Players who may make the majors:
- Matt Carson — right field — Oakland As organization
- Troy Cate — left handed pitcher — Oakland As organization
- Sean Estes — left handed pitcher — Los Angeles Dodgers organization
- Nate Gold — 1st base — Texas Rangers organization
- Chad Hermansen — left field — Los Angeles Angels organization
- Cale Iorg — shortstop — Detroit Tigers organization
- Eli Iorg — right field — Houston Astros organization
- Jason M. Johnson — right handed pitcher — New York Yankees organization
- Mitch Jones — right field — Los Angeles Dodgers organization
- Mitch Maier — center field — Kansas City Royals organization
- Jared Price — catcher — Chicago White Sox organization
- Mitch Talbot — right handed pitcher — Tampa Bay DevilRays organziation
- Dave Veres — right handed pitcher — Colorado Rockies organization
- Jaret Wright — right handed pitcher — Pittsburgh Pirates organization
- Jeremy Guthrie and Roy Halladay are probably the strongest of the Mormon players, and I understand both are active members of the LDS Church. Both are aces of their pitching staffs, and have been for a few years.
- The concentration of three Mormon players on the Kansas City Royals makes me wonder if it is somehow more than a coincidence. However, at least Kyle Farnsworth is so inactive that his Mormon roots wouldn’t necessarily be obvious.
- Many of these players have served LDS missions, including (at least) Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Lindstrom, Cate Iorg, and Eli Iorg.
- Jason M. Johnson’s status is very tenuous. In February, while in the New York Yankee’s training camp, he went to an ophthalmologist for some blurred vision, which was then diagnosed as a cancer in his eye. Last I read, it was not yet known whether or not the cancer is life threatening, let alone whether or not he can return to baseball.
Enjoy the season!!