Major League Mormons

March 24, 2011 | 60 comments
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0a-phillies-roy-halladayLast year was major for Major League Mormons—or at least for one of them. This makes the third year that I have looked at what those of us who follow these Mormons want to know each April, and I’m wondering if I should look at this information more often.

These Major League Mormons are, of course, those playing baseball professionally.

Last year was significant mainly because of one Mormon: Roy Halladay. The Phillies ace had perhaps the most successful season of any pitcher in baseball history. After winning the opening game for his team, Halladay then threw the 20th perfect game in baseball history on May 29th, and when the Phillies made the post-season, went on to throw only the second post-season no-hitter in baseball history. Throwing two no-hitters in a single season is remarkable itself—its only happened 5 times. Add the fact that one was in the post-season (when competition is stiffer) and the other was a perfect game, and Halladay’s pitching last year was unique.

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.

My own lists of Mormons who have played in the Majors include about 75 Mormons (including inactive LDS Church members and others with Mormon heritage) who have played in the majors. This is my third compilation of those Mormons who are actively playing in both the Major Leagues and in the Minor Leagues. I’ve managed to find a lot of additional information, especially on Mormons playing in the Minors.

[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 on major league rosters, or who are listed as being on minor league teams at this time, and therefore may be brought up to the majors during the year or in future years:

Current Roster Players:

  • John Buck — starting catcher — Florida Marlins
  • Jacoby Ellsbury — starting outfielder — Boston Red Sox
  • Kyle Farnsworth — closer — Tampa Bay Rays
  • Jeremy Guthrie — starting pitcher (right handed) — Baltimore Orioles
  • Roy Halladay — starting pitcher (right handed) — Philadelphia Phillies
  • Matt Lindstrom — right handed bullpen pitcher – Colorado Rockies
  • Brandon Lyon — right handed bullpen pitcher — Houston Astros
  • Mitch Maier — backup outfielder — Kansas City Royals
  • Mitch Talbot — starting pitcher?? (right handed) — Cleveland Indians

Minor League Players who may make the majors:

  • Jacob Borup—right handed starting pitcher — Philadelphia Phillies organization
  • Matt Carson — left field — Oakland As organization
  • Brandon Duckworth — right handed bullpen pitcher — Boston Red Sox organization
  • Bryce Harper — left field — Washington Nationals organizations
  • Blaine Howell —left handed bullpen pitcher — Cincinnati Reds organization
  • Kyle Hurst — right handed bullpen pitcher — Los Angeles Angels organization
  • Cale Iorg — Shortstop — Detroit Tigers organization
  • Aaron Jensen — right handed bullpen pitcher — Seattle Mariner’s organization
  • Jon Nelson — outfielder — Joliet JackHammers
  • Chris Shelton — first base — New York Mets organization
  • Kent Walton — outfielder — Oakland A’s organization
  • Jordan Whatcott —right handed bullpen pitcher — Philadelphia Phillies organization

Free Agents:

  • Bobby Crosby — backup shortstop — was with Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Mitch Jones — right field — was with Pittsburgh Pirates organization
  • Jared Price — catcher — was with Oakland A’s organization

Players who may be Mormon:

  • Eric Byrnes — left field — Seattle Mariners
  • Willie Eyre — pitcher — Texas Rangers organization
  • Kam Mickolio — pitcher — Arizona Diamondbacks organization
  • Egan Smith — left handed bullpen pitcher — Toronto Blue Jays organization
  • Jordan Smith — right handed bullpen pitcher — Cinncinnati Reds organization
  • Brad Thompson — pitcher — Houston Astros organization – (released)
  • Other remote possibilities: Jay Brossman, Ryan Khoury, Cole Miles, Matt Spring, Dallas Christison, Tyson Brummett, Steve Hirschfeld, A. J. Murray, Tanner Robles

Notes:

  • Jeremy Guthrie, along with Roy Halladay, remains the strongest of the Mormon players. Guthrie, the ace of the Orioles pitching staff for a few years, is an active LDS Church members from what I’ve read.
  • As far as I can tell, no Mormon players had their debut in the Majors last year.
  • Many of these players have served LDS missions, including (at least) Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Lindstrom, Blaine Howell, Kyle Hurst, Jon Nelson and Cale Iorg.
  • Garrett Nash (Oregon State), Mark Pawelek (?? – from Springville HS), Taylor Cole (BYU), Rob Folsom (Oregon State) are all players in college or post high school that could be drafted.
  • Troy Cate, Shawn Estes, Nate Gold, Chase Leavitt, Brandon Taylor, David Jensen have apparently retired or otherwise left baseball.

Enjoy the season!!

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60 Responses to Major League Mormons

  1. Jax on March 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the list and the post on a non-serious topic. I only follow baseball from a distance, so didn’t know that Jacoby Ellsbury was LDS. I did know about Halladay. Are either active? Our unit is looking for prominent LDS members we could invite to our “Why We Believe” firesides and would love to invite these two during next offseason if they are active.

  2. Jacob S on March 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Jacoby Ellsbury is not an an active member. I believe his grandmother was/is (?) an active member and he grew up in the culture. I’ve read up a bit on him as a big time Sox fan.

    The fun one on this list to follow will be Bryce Harper who was the first pick in the draft and considered as close to a can’t-miss star as you can get. He has a lot hype surrounding him, so following his career through the minors (however short it may be) should be fairly easy if you are interested. I have read that he is an active member.

  3. queuno on March 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Halladay is apparently not active…

  4. Kent Larsen on March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Just so that it is clear, finding out whether or not someone is active can be quite difficult. Its not information that the Church releases, so each individual would have to say something before we would know, or someone in their ward would have to know (and in some cases they probably shouldn’t say).

    In all three of the posts I’ve done about this (one each year over the past three years), I haven’t really make much of an issue of the activity of players.

  5. Enna on March 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I know absolutely nothing about baseball, so I’m not sure if this applies. There was a high school student in my parents ward named Curtis Petersen that was drafted by a Florida team. I don’t know if it’s a minor league team, or something else, but they called it a “feeder” team. He’s LDS, and was active in their ward.

  6. Kent Larsen on March 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Enna, thank you very much!! Curtis should indeed be on the list of active players in the minors. Drafted in 2008 by the Florida Marlins, he is a right-handed pitcher who was at the single A level last year.

    I’m afraid he hasn’t done very well through last year (ERA at the A level was 6.32). Unless he improves markedly, I don’t think he’ll make the big show (i.e., the majors).

  7. Kent Larsen on March 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Oh, looking at his numbers again, it looks like he gets freaked out with runners on base (ERA last year with bases empty: 1.25, with runners on: 11.63). So perhaps he can work his way out of this problem.

  8. Left Field on March 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Well, to be precise, pitching a no hitter in the postseason and one in the regular season doesn’t count as pitching two in a season.

  9. Kent Larsen on March 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Left Field:

    picky, picky. We can re-word it to say “play during a calendar year” instead of “season.”

    [FWIW, Halladay's wikipedia article makes the same error.]

  10. Left Field on March 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

    We can finally get rid of that annoying asterisk since Maris never hit more home runs in a calendar year than Ruth did. But do we need to count spring training too?

  11. Randy on March 25, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I heard pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals system is LDS. True?

  12. Kent Larsen on March 25, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Randy, when I looked all I could find was rumor on the Cougar sports board.

    I suspect that the rumors started because he was mentioned in an AP article about Bryce Harper that compared the hype around him to the hype around Strasburg a year earlier. If you read the article quickly, I can see how you might assume that Strasburg is LDS.

    I did find a Washington Post article that said that Strasburg is very religious, but didn’t indicate what religion.

    I’ll keep an eye out for any reliable information.

  13. Barry R. Urry on March 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

    You forgot my nephew!! Chris Shelton is an active member of the Church. He’s played for Detroit, Seattle, Texas and Houston.

  14. Barry R. Urry on March 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

    oops . . . sorry. like always, once I’ve put my shoe in my mouth, I see what I’m looking for. But Chris IS a good kid! He played for Cottonwood HS, and the U of U. He was MVP when he played for the U.

  15. Kent Larsen on March 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

    This morning I came across another LDS prospect — although perhaps a long shot because he hasn’t yet attracted much attention among scouts — Zach Swasey, an outfielder at the University of Hawaii.

    You can read an interesting article about his background here.

  16. John K. Johnson on March 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Adam Rosales from the Chicago area is LDS, his father helped coach our youth teams in the Logan Square Ward.

  17. Kent Larsen on March 27, 2011 at 7:00 am

    John, thank you very much!

    Adam is a Roster player who has recovered from a foot injury during the off season. He’s a kind of super-utility player kept from a starting role simply because his batting average isn’t as high as the A’s want.

    He is with the Oakland A’s and is currently listed at 2nd base.

  18. Geoff on March 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I love this! I had no idea about Halladay or Ellsbury, though I’m sad neither is particularly active. I know it’s not exactly good practice to categorize the listed players based on their perceived activity – which is quite subjective – but that’d be an interesting list to compile. I’d love to know which guys in the Majors are actual,active members.

    I can’t think of the last known star who was practicing LDS. Wally Joyner??

  19. Kent Larsen on March 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Geoff, you first need to define what you mean by “star” before I can try to answer who the last known star who was LDS is.

    Currently, Guthrie is a great player, ace of his staff, an RM and very active, from what I’ve heard. He might qualify.

    As for those who are no longer playing, there is, of course, Dale Murphy, although he retired before Joyner, IIRC, although they finished close to the same time — just a few years apart. I’d have to go through my notes to give you a few more candidates.

  20. Randy on March 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    John Buck—who I believe played in last years MLB all-star game—along with his wife, served as nursery leaders in our ward in Surprise, AZ. Surprise was their home during Spring training when he was with the Royals.

  21. Kent Larsen on March 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks, Randy. Sounds like those who are counting which players are active can put Buck in the active column.

  22. R James Parsons on March 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    If interested in additional insight into the Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury see the following links for past articles about him in the Boston Globe:
    - http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/03_30_08_ellsbury/
    - http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2008/03/30/the_jacoby_factor/

    After a difficult, injury-filled year in 2010 much is being expected of him in 2011 (see http://www.boston.com/sports/video/globe10/?bctid=867093500001).

  23. Brandon on March 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Tyson Brummett is LDS. I went to high school with him.

  24. Kent Larsen on March 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks, Brandon. It looks like Tyson is a free agent at the moment, but from his pitching performance in the minors, I don’t think he is going to be picked up by anyone.

    Last year he was at the AA Reading Phillies, where he had a 5.01 ERA over 55 innings.

    I do appreciate the information, and I’ll keep him on the list of LDS players as long as he is active.

  25. The Dirkster on March 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I know we could argue about how good someone has to be to qualify as a star player, but I think Jeff Kent with the Giants, etc., is LDS. He was pretty good, a solid player, but I wouldn’t be willing to say he was a Star . . . likely not Hall of Fame caliber. Can anyone confirm or deny this (that he is LDS)?

  26. Jacob M on March 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    The Dirkster – yes, he is LDS, but I don’t think he’s playing anymore. I think he recently retired. Also – I think he won the NL MVP award one year. I will have to look that up at a later time. He was pretty darn good when he went over to the Dodgers, but it was just unfortunate that at the time the Dodgers had pretty terrible pitching so they didn’t win that much. This all happened a couple of years before the Manny Ramirez trade a few years back.

  27. Kent Larsen on March 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    The Dirkster, Jeff Kent retired at the end of the 2008 season, after 17 years in MLB.

  28. Kent Larsen on March 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Re: Jeff Kent Hall of Fame possibilities

    Check out: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kentje01.shtml

    The Hall of Fame estimates at the bottom of the page suggest that Kent has a chance. IIRC, he will become eligible 5 years after he retired.

    Oh, and we shouldn’t forget that one Mormon, Jack Morris, is currently on the ballot. I expect him to eventually make the Hall.

  29. Mont McNeil on April 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Josh Johnson, SP (righty) for the Florida Marlins, is a Mormon.

  30. Kent Larsen on April 6, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Thanks, Mont. That checks out. I’ll add him to my list of MLB players.

  31. Kent Larsen on April 8, 2011 at 6:35 am

    For those interested, I have updated my list of the Mormons who have played in the Majors and the current total is 72.

    It is, of course, possible that additional Mormon players will make the major leagues during this year.

  32. Hunter on April 9, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Not sure that Josh Johnson is LDS. I can confirm that both the Smith brothers from American Fork are LDS. Jeff Kent is certainly LDS. There was a kid out of Saint George drafted in 2nd round by mariners that is LDS as well. Not sure of his name, just drafted in 2010.

  33. Kent Larsen on April 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Hunter,

    Re: Josh Johnson, do a Google search on the term: “Josh Johnson” Mormon

    Thanks for the info on the Smith brothers, I’ll move them to the proper list.

    As for the kid from St. George, it appears you are describing Marcus Littlewood. I’ll add him to my list also.

    Thank you!!

  34. Kent Larsen on April 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Just when I thought I had everyone, I came across another player from my files (spring cleaning leads you to find all kinds of stuff).

    Elliot Johnson is a backup infielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, back in the majors for the first time since 2008.

    So that makes 73 Mormons who have played in the Majors.

  35. Kent Larsen on April 11, 2011 at 5:51 am

    For those who are fans of Bryce Howell, hoping he will make the majors, you may be interested in this personal interest story about him:

    Field of dreams: Proposal gets a “yes”

  36. MM2H on April 13, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I lived in Guthrie’s ward in Baltimore for a year or so, and he and his family were definitely active during baseball season. During the off-season they lived back out West and so we didn’t get to see them much then.

  37. Mark S on April 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Jax, will part of your “Why We Beleive” fireside touch on why we beleive in keeping the Sabbath day holy? I have never understaood why we send this mixed message to our youth. I guess maybe because we don’t care that much about keeping it holy ourselves? Weird.

    And no, I’m not passing judgement on any player. It is fact that they make their living, and have gained their prominence by choosing to “work”/play on Sunday. (Please no comparison to police officers, doctors, etc.).

    Of course we are all sinners and imperfect, but these guys’ choice is a deliberate, premeditated and highly visible choice.

    If you disagree, sorry, look at the example given last preisethood session about the former mormon All Blacks rugby player. They changed their whole schedule because he would not play on Sundays. Had he not been so good, and had the schedule not been changed for him, he would have simply NOT played rugby anymore. That’s the kind of BELEIF that the youth should see in this “Why We Beleive” effort: beleif that leads to action, to stand up for wha tis right, no matter what ($$$).

  38. rbc on April 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Mark S., puhleeze. Does your condemnation extend to GAs who deliberately, with premeditation and in a highly visible manner travel on Sundays? I recently shared a Sunday evening flight to SLC with a GA, except he was in first class while I slummed in coach. (He also had an iPad.) Elder X and myself marginally but intentionally contributed to a lot of people working so we could conveniently and, most importantly, safely travel to SLC on a Sunday evening instead of Monday: pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, cab drivers, controllers (assuming they were awake) and on and on. I wonder what was so important that Elder X intentionally broke one of the 10 commandments to get back to SLC on a Sunday evening. I suspect, but cannot confirm, there was more than one GA flying back to SLC that Sunday evening. I’m sure they all had their reasons to intentionally and deliberately travel on Sunday and flagrantly disregard the Sabbath day. The sun was setting as we landed in SLC, so maybe the Sabbath was over in SLC.(full disclosure, I am not the least bit bothered with GAs traveling on Sundays and do not fault them for doing so.)

    Their very public conduct does send a mixed message to our youth. Consider the insane decision our Ward’s scout troop makes to leave for scout camp at 3:00 am on a Monday morning so as to not travel on a Sunday. But, our travel consists of driving loaded SUVs to a campground. We don’t involve nearly the number of ancillary people as a typical GA who flies to SLC on a Sunday. If Elder X can fly to SLC on a Sunday, why can’t we drive to a camp ground on a Sunday? That’s a real mixed message.

    I suspect, however, you are more right than wrong. It has to explain why Brother Halladay got shelled last night. His next start is supposed to be this Sunday in San Diego. I wonder if there will be a GA on the plane with the Phillies and Brother Halladay as they travel from San Diego to Arizona after the game on Sunday evening? (lots of flights from CA to UT connect in Phoenix) You know I’m just pulling your leg because the Phillies charter their own aircraft. The GA will have to fly with the unwashed masses, but at least he’ll be in first class where I think he deserves to be.

    Sorry for the length. I look forward to taking my kids to see Brother Guthrie at the best ballpark in MLB: Camden Yards. Maybe we’ll attend his next home Sabbath start to show support for Brother Guthrie. I just wish the O’s on field product was a bit better.

  39. Kent Larsen on April 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

    If he gets Guthrie to come to do a “Why I Believe” fireside, perhaps Jax can have him also talk about this:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/orioles/2011-04-21-jeremy-guthrie-green_N.htm

  40. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Mark S,

    I think it is a very valid question to ask LDS professional athletes why they compete on Sunday. In football it is obviously the only day to make your living. But if you are the ace of a staff (Guthrie) could you tell your team that they need to work your rotation so that you WILL NOT pitch on Sundays? Your rotation should only have it happen every few weeks, so it wouldn’t be a huge burden on the team. You could either volunteer to pitch on short rest or ask to have one more day. I wish we could get more to make the stand, in all sports.

    One of the few constant attendees in our small branch is a family of girls who dance. They come every week, feed the missionaries often, attend all activities – fully active and very faithful. Our families are very close. But I can’t even get them to consider telling their dance teacher that they will not practice on sundays. They are only asked to do so just before recitals, so it isn’t very often, but they won’t jeopardize the dance for the Sabbath. Even for the very active, such a stance is difficult. That is why we so often here Sabbath keeping stories at conference. Too bad they fall of deaf ears, and they almost all think that “their situation” is unique and different somehow.

  41. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Kent,

    Is there a specific question about the bike riding and recycling? The point of the message is “Why I believe” that Jesus is the Christ, and only secondly about the Church, so I’m not sure how that would fit in. But I’d love to ask in a private setting if you would like some info. That is if I can get him to come at all.

  42. Barry Urry on April 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    It’s all nice to tell each other what we’d do, but . . . we’re not the people in the situation. It’s really not fair to judge these men. What we would do in this situation is wholly dependent on us being IN the situation. And then, we really can’t tell what we’d REALLY do. This is a case of ” . . . judge not an unrighteous judgement . . .? We just don’t know.

  43. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Barry,

    We do know that the apostle emphasize those who DO choose not to participate on sunday as examples of faith. Can’t we safely assume that by inference they are saying that those who DON’T choose not to are showing a lack of faith?

    I haven’t turned down million dollar contracts to keep the Sabbath holy, but I have turned down more desirable jobs to do so. Since the Sabbath comes around every 7 days for each of us, I would say every week we ARE all in the situation of choosing to keep it wholly holy. We all choose to either work or not to work (albeit at different jobs).

    I have never heard a GA say that professional athletes are doing wrong by working on the Sabbath, but they do repeatedly say that those who don’t do it are being faithful. And in this case I think what they don’t say speaks volumes.

    IMO of course.

  44. Sonny on April 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t think concluding that someone is lacking faith because he/she has to work on Sunday at times, or even often, is something we should do, IMO. Yes, apostles have counseled that we should avoid working on Sunday and I’m sure have held out as examples of faith some that do not work on Sunday. But if we assume LDS that have to work on Sunday are lacking in faith, we are being unfairly critical of many faithful members that have chosen a profession, perhaps with Divine inspiration, that requires Sunday work. After all, there are even food service workers in the MTC that work on Sunday, and I believe they are being paid for it. If one were to use a strict ‘no work on Sunday’ rule for themselves, that is fine. However, others may have chosen professions that require at least some work on Sunday and who am I to assume that they did not choose correctly or that they are lacking faith?
    For example, my wife is a NICU nurse and weekend work is required for all. For her, working in the NICU is not just a job but more like a calling. We have no doubt that she is fulfilling one of her life’s callings by working with these babies.

  45. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Sonny, we should all stop saying “work” on sunday, and start thinking in terms of serving God and fellowmen. So even though doctors/nurses/police/etc choose professions that require sunday work, they are in professions that also serve others and in that sense, serve God. Thus RBC’s example of sunday travel by GA’s would come under the umbrella of “doing God’s work on Sunday” and fits the criteria of sunday activity. But when athletes choose a sport that works on sunday, they aren’t serving God are they? Like you say, your wife views her job as a calling. Do athletes view it that way? Maybe I suppose. But the repetition by GA’s saying the opposite tells me that THEY don’t think of it that way.

    To the extreme, you could say I’m a Sabbath breaker for “choosing” to keep a milk cow and chickens that require me to work to feed and water them on sunday. But I’ve never heard a GA use that as an example when talking about sunday worship. The apostles repeatedly use the example of sports, even as a profession, being inappropriate on the Sabbath. Well sort of. They don’t come out and say it. They don’t say it is wrong or faithless, they just use examples to say that NOT doing it is good. The inference is that if it is a sign of faith to not play, even professionally, then it is a sign of lack of faith to do so and seem to be making a repeated plea that LDS members follow the counsel to NOT play sports on sunday, even for a living. We didn’t just pull this specific job (athlete) out of thin air. They talk about it almost every conference with stories like Bro. Going (did I spell that right?) who forced a professional team to work on his schedule, to the college athlete who refuses to participate in the championship game, down to the little leaguer who shows a good example of faith by not practicing on the Sabbath. If the GA’s didn’t bring it up so often we probably wouldn’t have, but they seem to be sending a maybe-too-subtle message that far too many – even my close, active, friends – seem to either ignore or fail to recieve.

  46. Sonny on April 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    “The inference is that if it is a sign of faith to not play, even professionally, then it is a sign of lack of faith to do so”

    Is that a fair inference to make? Is it really that black and white, particularly since we believe in personal revelation? Is someone that says he/she feels that his/her chosen Occupation X, which may even be an athletic career, is indeed God-given (or approved), inherently wrong for that person because of some General Conference talks that seem to promote the opposite? Finally, are we in a position to judge whether that person is lacking in faith?

  47. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m in no position to judge any specific person on this, but I think I am morally allowed to make judgements about generalities. Maybe J. Guthrie met with GA’s who told him to play and be a good ambassador for the church. I have no idea.

    All I know is that the continual reference to the faithfulness of people who choose not to play sports makes me think that it is a fair inference. If it were just one story then I think it fair not to jump to conclusions on the intent of the stories. But since they are repeated so often I can’t come up with any other inference to make. Almost every talk about Sabbath observence has the story about visiting the sick/elderly, going to church meetings, and a story about the faith of someone who choose not to play some level of sport (professional, collegiate, high school, etc). I think it perfectly fair to infer that I should go to my meetings, do my home teaching, seek out service opportunities (hospitals, nursing homes, food kitchens, etc) and avoid playing sports.

  48. Kent Larsen on April 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Jax: “Is there a specific question about the bike riding and recycling?”

    No, I just think its cool that he does it.

    One of the ideas behind these environmental actions that I like is the idea of personal responsibility. Guthrie believes it is important, and takes responsibility for making a difference. Regardless of what you think governments should do for the environment, Guthrie’s actions show that we need to be responsible for what we believe.

  49. Jax on April 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    It is totally off topic Kent, but I agree with the environmental consciousness that he shows and wish that more LDS people would have similar regard for the environment. We tend to exploit it for personal gain and feel no need to improve it much. My guess is we just don’t understand that part of Zion is a desirable, clean earthly environment; and that it is our responsibility to care for the earth and try to improve it, make as much like the garden of Eden, as possible. So thanks to you for posting the article about his recycling.

  50. Kent Larsen on April 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

    The Mormon Times tried to do the same thing as we have above, and only got about half of the Mormons playing professional ball that we have here:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705371470/Mormons-in-professional-baseball.html

    All of the players listed there are already on our list above.

  51. Spencer on April 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Kent,

    We knew an Elder Jimmy Schulson (not sure of the spelling) serving in the California San Francisco mission in 2005-6 who had signed with Tampa Bay before coming on his mission. He was an infielder. Anyone heard of him?

  52. Kent Larsen on April 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Looks like it didn’t work out. Jimmy Scholzen returned from his LDS mission and played 1 season in the rookie league for the Princeton Devil Rays (the Devil Ray’s rookie league affiliate), hitting just .162 over 142 at bats. A MLB article I came across says he retired after that year.

    But, this Deseret News article may be of interest:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660208774/From-LDS-mission-to-the-minors.html

  53. Thatcher, AZ on April 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Elliot Johnson of the Tampa Bay Rays is LDS. He is from Thatcher, AZ. Four of the five Johnson brothers were drafted. His younger brother Leon played OF at BYU and a couple of years in the Cubs organization. Another younger brother Cedric, was drafted by the Phillies but is currently playing at Eastern Arizona College. His older brother Isaac was also drafted but did not sign or play college baseball.

  54. Kent Larsen on April 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Thanks, “Thatcher, AZ” – This is GREAT information. I’m adding Elliot to our list, and adding his brothers to my minor leagues lists.

    Elliott is currently a backup shortstop who has appeared in 11 games so far this year. He last appeared in the majors in 2008.

  55. Belgrade on May 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Kam Mickolio is NOT mormon. Fact.

  56. Kent Larsen on May 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the confirmation, Belgrade. I’d suspected, but didn’t have any kind of confirmation.

    Can I ask how you know?

  57. Kent Larsen on May 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Drape this post in black — the only Hall of Famer who acknowledges that he is Mormon, Harmon Killebrew, died today:

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/05/17/general-bbo-obit-killebrew_8471672.html

  58. Spencer on May 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Kent,

    What do you know about Killebrew? When we lived in Minneapolis back in the ’60s we heard that he used to speak at LDS firesides. One newspaper article this past week said that he was baptized into the LDS Church in 1966, but we have also read in the newspapers that his funeral is at some Protestant church in Arizona.

  59. Kent Larsen on May 22, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I can’t claim to know that much. I have been told that his family is active LDS, but that he was not.

    I assumed that the “suburban” church in Arizona was an LDS chapel, but really don’t know.

  60. Doug Warr on July 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    FYI, I spoke to Mitch Jones the other day. He is officially retired. Too bad, he had an amazing bat. I wish he would have had more opportunities in the majors.

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