Former Cougar and MLB player speaks at first pitch dinner

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BYU baseball welcomed home former Cougar and Major League pitcher Jack Morris at the third annual First Pitch Dinner earlier this month in Provo.

Jack Morris speaks at the first pitch dinner. Morris had an 18-year Major League career. (Savanna Sorensen/BYU Photo)
Jack Morris speaks at the first pitch dinner. Morris had an 18-year Major League career. (Savanna Sorensen/BYU Photo)

Over 25 former BYU players and coaches spanning seven decades attended the dinner where IMG radio broadcaster Greg Wrubell emceed and Morris offered the keynote address. Four of the former Cougars in attendance are currently playing with MLB organizations including Adam Law with the Dodgers organization, Kolton Mahoney with the Yankees organization, Taylor Cole with the Blue Jays organization and Adam Miller with the Diamondbacks organization.

The dinner included a report on the state of the BYU baseball program from head coach Mike Littlewood followed by a presentation of the annual Cameron Tuckett Award. The Cameron Tuckett Award is given to the player who demonstrates consistent effort on and off the field in citizenship, baseball and academics.  Dillon Robinson, a two-time all-conference infielder, was the recipient of the award. The award was presented to Robinson by Glen Tuckett, former BYU baseball coach and athletic director.

The Arik Mack Scholarship Fund was unveiled in remembrance of Mack who played for BYU in 2014 but was tragically killed in a car accident on March 25, 2015. Mack was two-time 4A pitcher of the year in Utah and garnered interest from professional scouts.

“I loved this kid’s moxie,” Littlewood said. “He was one of the best left-handed pitchers to come out of the state of Utah. He had an infectious personality. We were fortunate to have him play for us. He had a great heart.”

Nu Skin associates Brent and Virginia Bryson, along with the rest of the company, established the annual scholarship fund to keep his memory alive. The Bryson’s and Nu Skin presented BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe with a $10,000 check.

Morris then gave his address with gratitude for BYU baseball.

“I learned the values of what BYU is all about,” Morris said. “And to this day I want you to know how proud I am to say I went to school here.”

Morris played 18 years of professional baseball from 1977-1994. He pitched for four World Series championship teams including the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. He was voted World Series MVP in 1991.

Morris is a five-time All-Star and pitched a no-hitter in 1984. He has a 254-186 record and a 3.90 earned run average with 2,478 strikeouts in his career.

Morris’ passion for the game was shared with several stories from his time in the big leagues.

“Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, any argument?” Morris said. “Good, because I didn’t want to fight tonight.”

 

 

 

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