Blog: LDS in the MLB

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On Wednesday the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants will face each other on the biggest stage in baseball: the World Series.

Many current and retired players will be anxious to see which team pulls away with the victory, one being Jeff Kent. Kent, who played for the Giants from 1997 to 2002, was a five-time All-Star and league MVP in 2000. While Kent’s accomplishments set him apart from many of his teammates, one other thing did as well. Kent is a Mormon.

So, this begs the question. What other famous Major League Baseball players are Mormon?

1. Bryce Harper

Associated Press | The Universe

Harper is by far one of the most well-known Mormon baseball players, and might even be one of the most uncharacteristic when talking about his religion. As a 19-year-old Harper is one of the youngest players to have ever started for a major league program and is the youngest player to have ever played in an all-star game.

2. Roy Halladay

Halladay has found success as a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and most recently for the Philadelphia Phillies, where he won the 2010 National League Cy Young award. Halladay grew up Mormon and didn’t serve a mission after being drafted right out of high school. Now, he and his wife work together in an effort to give back to those in the community.

“His grandfather in Idaho was a patriarch of the Church,” said Hallady’s wife, Brandi, in an article from the Toronto Star. “He went to Roy and he said, `You’ll serve your mission in other ways. Baseball’s going to open doors for you that might not be opened otherwise.’ He’s the smartest guy. Roy’s been able to help so many people and do so much for people because of baseball, because of what the Blue Jays have done for us.”

3. Jacoby Ellsbury

This Red Sox outfielder has been on the Boston roster since 2007. He was raised Mormon but is no longer practicing.

4. Jeremy Guthrie

Guthrie is one of the few Mormon Major League Baseball players to have served a mission before signing a contract. He is currently playing for the Kansas City Royals and enjoys cycling and recycling.

5. Jack Morris

Morris made a name for himself as a starter with the Detroit Tigers, earning a league-most 162 wins in the 1980s. Morris pitched one of the most memorable games of all time in a World Series matchup against John Smoltz while playing for the Minnesota Twins. Morris played at BYU with his brother Tom, but left after being drafted in 1976 by the Tigers.

These are just some of the few Mormon Major League Baseball players who are currently in the league, but there are many others who have played and are now retired. Just a few include former BYU baseball coach Vance Law and his father Vern Law, as well as Dale Murphy who was a two-time National League MVP for the Atlanta Braves.

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