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Jeremy Guthrie Shares Incredible Stories of 3 Missionaries Who Turned Down MLB Offers to Serve the Lord

After a highly successful 15-year career, MLB pitcher Jeremy Guthrie accomplished many historical firsts as a Latter-day Saint pitcher. Now as a mission president, Guthrie is serving with baseball players who are willing to put their careers on hold to serve the Lord, much like he did two decades ago.

In 1997, after selecting Guthrie in the 15th round, the Mets offered him a $650,000 bonus. Guthrie declined, determined to serve a mission. Then the Mets general manager asked Guthrie if $1 million would convince him to play baseball full time. Guthrie refused, choosing his mission over the Mets.

After a mission to Spain and a successful MLB career, Guthrie doesn't regret his decision. In 2002, he became the oldest first-round pick to reach the majors in this century as he signed with the Cleveland Indians.

At an early training session the Indians coaching staff asked each player, "Who are you?" Guthrie unhesitatingly replied, "I am a child of God" ("LDS Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie Speaks at Devotional," Deseret News). This simple testimony is something Guthrie has lived his entire life.

In 2018, the 38-year-old former MLB pitcher and his wife, Jenny, were called to preside over the Texas Houston Mission. About this new missionary opportunity, Guthrie told the Deseret News, "I am living proof that the Lord likes to work with the simple and weak sometimes. But hopefully, I can be someone who learns well and more importantly, is able to find his direction through the Spirit in all the many tasks that will be placed before me as a mission president."

Recently, Guthrie shared on Instagram his own story as well as the remarkable stories of other missionaries who were willing to put their dreams on hold to serve the Lord.

 





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Here you have a pretty unique lineage of missionary service & baseball talent: I was drafted in 1997 in the 15th round by the NY Mets but eventually decided to serve a 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Spain, Bilbao). 5 years later I began my professional career as a 1st Round Pick by Cleveland in 2002. I pitched my last game on April 8, 2017 & I'm currently serving another mission for The Church of Jesus Christ with my family living in Houston. I met Taylor Cole (@tayjcole) 10 years ago at church in Las Vegas when a mutual friend connected us. As a high school standout pitcher (Bishop Gorman) he was selected in the 26th round by the LA Dodgers in the 2007 draft but elected to attend College of S. Nevada. Following his freshman season he was drafted again in the 31st round by the Diamondbacks but elected to serve a 2 year mission instead (Toronto, Canada). Following his mission he pitched at BYU & signed after being drafted in the 29th round in 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays of all teams. He currently pitches for the LAA Angels. Elder Brett Hansen (pictures on right) and I met via phone last August as he was entering his senior year of high school. We discussed baseball, life, and missionary work with our faith. Following a spectacular senior season in Pleasanton, CA he made his intentions to serve a mission known to all 30 teams yet the SF Giants still selected him in the 38th round. After being drafted he spoke via telephone with Taylor after their fathers had a chance encounter at a baseball tournament. Taylor shared some of his personal thoughts & experiences which were impactful on Elder Hansen. Elder Hansen was offered a contract that would have awaited him while serving 2 years as a missionary but he chose his scholarship to Vanderbilt instead. He will continue his baseball career when he returns in July of 2020. As for now he is crushing the bike w/his companion while speaking Spanish in the streets of Houston! Neither of us knew we would be missionaries when we first spoke on the phone 1 year ago, but now we serve together. We recognize this as God's hand in our lives. #TenderMercies #GodsArmy

A post shared by  Jeremy Guthrie (@therealjguts) on

"Here you have a pretty unique lineage of missionary service & baseball talent: 

"I was drafted in 1997 in the 15th round by the NY Mets but eventually decided to serve a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Spain, Bilbao). 5 years later I began my professional career as a 1st Round Pick by Cleveland in 2002. I pitched my last game on April 8, 2017, and I'm currently serving another mission for The Church of Jesus Christ with my family living in Houston. 

"I met Taylor Cole 10 years ago at church in Las Vegas when a mutual friend connected us. As a high school standout pitcher (Bishop Gorman) he was selected in the 26th round by the LA Dodgers in the 2007 draft but elected to attend College of S. Nevada. Following his freshman season he was drafted again in the 31st round by the Diamondbacks but elected to serve a 2-year mission instead (Toronto, Canada). Following his mission he pitched at BYU & signed after being drafted in the 29th round in 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays of all teams. He currently pitches for the LAA Angels.

"Elder Brett Hansen (pictured on right) and I met via phone last August as he was entering his senior year of high school. We discussed baseball, life, and missionary work with our faith. Following a spectacular senior season in Pleasanton, CA he made his intentions to serve a mission known to all 30 teams yet the SF Giants still selected him in the 38th round. After being drafted he spoke via telephone with Taylor after their fathers had a chance encounter at a baseball tournament. Taylor shared some of his personal thoughts & experiences which were impactful on Elder Hansen. Elder Hansen was offered a contract that would have awaited him while serving 2 years as a missionary but he chose his scholarship to Vanderbilt instead. He will continue his baseball career when he returns in July of 2020. As for now, he is crushing the bike w/his companion while speaking Spanish in the streets of Houston! 

"Neither of us knew we would be missionaries when we first spoke on the phone 1 year ago, but now we serve together. We recognize this as God's hand in our lives. #TenderMercies #GodsArmy"

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