Information for the Next Six Months

April 3, 2009 | 19 comments
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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

Notes:

  • 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!!

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19 Responses to Information for the Next Six Months

  1. Benjamin on April 3, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Thank you for this post. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who takes special interest in players who happen to be LDS. I didn’t know about Jeremy Guthrie, so now I have another reason to be glad I got him late in my fantasy draft. :-)

  2. Mark Brown on April 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for this list, Kent.

    Just a minor correction — the catcher for the Royals is John Buck, not Beck.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7056

    I still encounter people sometimes who insist that Orel Hershiser is LDS.

  3. Scott B. on April 3, 2009 at 11:34 am

    The concentration of three Mormon players on the Kansas City Royals makes me wonder if Mormon professional baseball players are the worst of all religious professional baseball players.

  4. Cheap California on April 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

    That’s quite a play on words for your article title. I thought this article was going to be about General Conference.

  5. Rusty on April 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Is this why the Royals are so bad?

  6. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Mark Brown (2): That’s a typo on my part. I will correct it.

    And, I’ve researched the Hershiser claim several times over the past decade or so — he is NOT LDS. He is a born-again Christian.

  7. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Cheap California (4):

    Well, I’m kind of getting to the point were I confound the two. Check my post from last fall: The Great Unity.

  8. Mark Brown on April 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Kent, yeah, that is what makes it so funny. He is so open about his born again status, I’m surprised anybody would mistake him for being LDS.

    Also, I am very saddened by those who would denigrate my Royals as they begin this, the 24th year of their rebuilding effort. Oh ye of little faith.

  9. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Mark, would you rather be a Royals fan, with the perpetual rebuilding, or a Cubs fan, where your hopes get built up repeatedly and consistently dashed each year?

    Each of these has its own kind of curse.

    Of course here in New York, we have a curse of high expectations. We can’t be satisfied with a reasonably good season, only the series is satisfactory.

  10. Mark Brown on April 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Oh, definitely a Royals fan. Regardless of how bad they are, they play good teams. Where else can you see a MLB game featuring the Sawx or Yankees for 7 bucks? Wrigley field is beautiful, but Kaufmann stadium ain’t bad. Again, where else can you see line drives hit over the fence into fountains?

  11. NJensen on April 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I think all the KC Royals guys are just a preparation for the return to Zion.

  12. Eddie on April 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Back in the early 90s, I was serving my mission in Chicago. The celtics came to town to play the bulls. Greg Kite and Danny Ainge were both playing for the celtics at the time. Guess which one of them showed up for church, and when there was a shortage of Deacons, even assisted in passing the sacrament?

    It wasn’t Ainge.

    That was in the Logan Square ward in Downtown Chicago. Later on in my mission, I Served in the North Shore Wards, and Greg’s Brother, who’s first name escapes me, lived in one of those wards with his family. I shared that story with him, and he said that he would have expected nothing less of his brother.

  13. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Eddie, I think this is true of all kinds of people, both in or out of the Church, faithful or not, famous or not, baseball player or not.

    I should emphasize that just because the above players are Mormon doesn’t mean their public or private actions are what we would like to see. Some don’t want to be known as Mormon, others don’t care, and others you’d love to have as your Elder’s Quorum President.

    And, in defense of Bro. Ainge, we all have ups and downs in how well we act. I’m quite sure I’ve been full of myself some years and relatively humble others (I hope). Some times I’m quite sensitive to the needs of those around me, and other times I couldn’t be bothered.

    I hope people remember me more for the former than the latter.

  14. Richard Sopp on April 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Kent:

    You left out the fact that God is a Dodger fan.

  15. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Of course! That’s why the Dodgers have won more pennants and world series than any other team, right?

    No? Then I wonder what team it might be true of? Hmmmm, let me think……

    [GRIN]

  16. DavidH on April 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Are you sure Brother Steve Martin is not playing in the major leagues?

  17. Kent Larsen on April 3, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I dunno, DavidH. For all I know, he could be.

    I just know that I don’t have any documentation that says he is.

    I suppose he could have played on one of the teams Paul Dunn played on?

  18. rbc on April 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    So, if Guthrie is pitching against Halladay on the Sabbath, can I count my attendance as a fellowshipping effort? Hopefully Guthrie will get some more run support this year.

    Maybe all the Mormons on KC will lift them from being a feeder club for the legitimate major league teams that steal their talent at the trade deadline.

  19. Patrick on April 5, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi there,
    I can vouch for Jeremie Guthrie. He attends the inner city ward in Baltimore, my ward, through the season with his family. He is clearly a very committed Latter-day Saint, which must be difficult, because anytime he is actually in town to attend church with his family, he has to cut out at the end of sacrament meeting and get over to the stadium. He has borne some wonderful testimonies, as well as hosting the youth to Camden Yards and being involved with some pretty great community outreach stuff for the Orioles. Honestly, he’s given a new face of integrity to the team for this Orioles fan that has been lacking somewhat since Cal Ripken retired in 2003.