Famous Latter-day Saints

Former MLB Player Who Turned Down $1M Bonus to Serve Mission Now Called as Mission President


On Thursday, the Church announced 111 new mission presidents who were called to serve around the world in 2018. Among them wereformer general manager of the Jazz Dave Checketts and former Major League Baseball player Jeremy Guthrie.

Guthrie and his wife Jenny will serve in the Texan Houston South Mission.

After a highly successful 15-year career in baseball, Latter-day Saint pitcher Jeremy Guthrie had many groundbreaking, historical firsts in the MLB even as he continued to live his faith. 

In October 2013, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie made MLB and Latter-day Saint history as the first returned missionary to appear in the World Series. Guthrie was also the oldest first-round pick to reach the majors in this century—another historic fact that can be attributed to his mission.

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.

But Jeremy Guthrie isn't the only Latter-day Saint professional baseball player to turn down a big bonus for his mission. McKay Christensenturned down a $1 million signing bonus with the California Angels, saying, "My mission is not for sale.” And Cale Iorg turned down a $400,000 signing bonus with the Rays in order to serve a mission to Lisbon, Portugal.

After a mission to Spain and a successful MLB career, Guthrie doesn't regret his decision. After signing 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).

About his experiences, Guthrie says, "Everything you do in life is preparing you to meet God. I wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do.”

Today,Jeremy Guthrie says the greatest part of his life is "this family that I have."

We wish him and his wife the best of luck.

Lead image from sportsworldnews.com

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