We’ve done the All-Smith team. We’ve done the All-Canadian team versus the All-Jewish team. And now UmpBump brings you: the All-Mormon team.

Mormon: Roy HalladayThere have been nearly enough Mormons in the majors to support a 40-man roster. One thing the All-Mormon team won’t be short on is starting pitching. They’ve got right-handed All-Star Roy Halladay as the ace of the staff (lifetime ERA of 3.63 and Cy Young winner), followed by another All-Star righthander in Vernon Law (1950-1967, ERA of 3.77). After that, they’ve got lefty All-Star Bruce Hurst (1980-1994, ERA of 3.92), righty Kelly Downs (1986-1993, ERA of 3.86) and still-promising righty Jeremy Guthrie (4.11 ERA)

For a closer, it’s hard to do much better than Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, a six-time All Star, an MVP, and a Cy Young Award winner. They’ve even got a decent set-up man in the form of All-Star reliever Rick Mormon: Dennis EckersleyAguilera (1985-2000, 3.57 ERA). Unfortunately, the middle relief is much less inspiring–Kyle Farnsworth (4.47 ERA), Mike Fetters (3.86 ERA), Jim Gott (3.87 ERA), Ryan Jensen (5.06 ERA), and Jason Johnson (4.99 ERA).

Onto the offense! What kind of lineup could the Church of Latter Day Saints run out there?

Leading off and playing centerfield, you’d have speedy rookie Jacoby Ellsbury—and while I do doubt very much he’ll be hitting .353 for the rest of his career, it’s not a bad start.

Batting second and playing first base, I’ll go with career .289 hitter Wally Joyner, an All-Star and a lefty, who also has some pop.

Mormon: Harmon KillebrewThird, who but Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew (1954-1975)? Don’t be fooled by his career .256 batting average. The man compiled a nice .376 OBP by walking his way to victory. Oh, and the 573 homers weren’t bad either. Killebrew played 3B, OF, and 1B in his career, but for the purposes of this exercise, I’m DH-ing him.

In the cleanup spot, it’s got to be MVP second baseman Jeff Kent. A career .290 hitter, Kent has 365 home runs and is a six-time All Star. And, he always bats fourth. Always.

In the five-hole, it’s All-Star Dale “The Murph” Murphy (1976-1993). A .265 right-handed hitter, he also hit for power (racking up 398 career Mormon: Jeff Kenthomers). The two-time MVP also played Gold Glove-worthy right field.

Sixth, the left fielder, Dane Iorg (1977-1986). He bats left, to the tune of .276.

Batting seventh, the third baseman, All-Star Vance Law (1980-1991). The son of Vern, above, Vance hit just .256 but managed some power.

Batting eighth and playing short? None other than Bobby Crosby. The 2004 Rookie of the Year may bat just .240, sure, but the only other option was Luis Gomez (1974-1981), who had a career average of .210 and never hit a single home run.

Mormon: Dale MurphyNinth, the catcher, Alan Ashby (1973-1989). He hits an uninspiring .245, but at least he’s a switch-hitter.

Who do we have on the bench? Ken Hubbs (1961-1963) is a defensive replacement/injury fill-in for Jeff Kent. Hubbs was the first player to win a Gold Glove the same year he collected the Rookie of the Year trophy. Despite hitting only .247, he was considered among the premiere second basemen in the game during his brief time in the majors. (Tragically, he died in a plane crash at the age of 22.)

No team is complete without a fourth outfielder. I suggest righty Barry Bonnell (1977-1986) for this purpose, as he hits a respectable .272. And as anMormon: Bobby Crosby overall utilityman, I’ll go with Brian Banks (1996-2003), who hit only .246 but played most of the positions on the field at some point during his career and was a switch hitter. The backup catcher is John Buck, who hits a paltry .237 but at least has occasional pop.

The result? Not a bad team. Solid starting pitching and a great closer, not to mention one of the best 3-4-5 combos you could hope for. Two Hall of Famers, and two other guys who could feasibly be elected someday. Some Cy Young winners, some Rookies of the Year, some Gold Glovers, MVPs and All-Stars. They’re just a couple of converts away from fixing their middle relief problem.

The All-Mormon Team is definitely a playoff contender. And they’d definitely beat the Canadians.

37 Responses to “UmpBump Presents: The All-Mormon Baseball Team”

  1. Shawn Estes? 2nd in Cy Young votes in 1997 and the NL All-Star starting pitcher that season? I’m not saying he’s an all-time great, but he’s got more bragging rights than Jeremy Guthrie and Kelly Downs. And Yes, Estes is definitely LDS.

  2. I realize I am late to the discussion, but what about strengthening the pen with Brandon Lyon and Dave Veres?

  3. They forgot Clyde Wright, who still holds the record for most wins by a left handed pitcher in a season in Angels history with 22 wins in 1970, was 2nd in Cy Young voting that year, pitched a no hitter, and had a lifetime ERA of 3.50. He and his family are active in Anaheim, CA.
    His son Jaret was pretty good too early in his career with Cleveland before arm problems slowed him down, and later had another good stint with Atlanta before signing with the Yankees and succumbing to arm problems again. If you take people in their prime, they have to be on the team!

  4. Michael from Winnipeg says:

    I recall looking at a book published and sold in a LDS bookstore in Cardston, Alberta – and it reported Jack Morris – the great pitcher with the Detroit Tigers I believe, being a member of the LDS church. Perhaps you could check this out and decide if he should be on your roster.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Whoah, more and more guys coming out of that LDS closet all the time, I see! Maybe it’s time to update this post….

  6. Nathaniel hancock says:

    Great post for all of us mormons out there. Jack Morris is a Mormon and played for BYU and should definitely be in the starting rotation, the most winningest pitcher in the ’80’s, 250 plus wins, two time 21 game winner!

    Thanks again for the fun read.

  7. Roy Halladay is a mormon? That sucks. Why is everyone I revere religous? Religion is so damn stupid.

  8. What a great list! I knew all of them but Ellsburry but have confirmed it.

    How about Danny Ainge? Sure he is an NBA legend, but how about his 2 years with the Blue Jays? what an athlete.

    McKay Christensen of the ChiSox? Short career but talented. He chose a mission over the money but hurt his career.

    Steve Sax, an all star 2nd baseman for the Dodgers didn’t at least make the bench.

    Yes Jack Morris is a Mormon.

    An interesting site to visit: http://www.famousmormons.net (or maybe .com)

  9. Add Matt Lindstrom to the relievers list. He even served a 2 year mission in Sweeden.

  10. There are others missing like Lou Gomez, Alan Ashby, Ken Hunt, Nielsen (I do not recall his first name, but he pitched for a few teams including the NY Yankees), check also:

  11. To a poster: Steve Sax never was LDS. For the writer of this article … Unlike our friends in the Jewish community, there’s a big difference between an active Latter-day Saint and one who doesn’t go to church. So, about a third of your list wouldn’t make a true LDS team (Halladay, Eck, Crosby … they’ve all said they “used to be” LDS). Killebrew was sometimes active and is in the Hall, super convert Dale Murphy should be in the Hall, but I’d probably take Kent as the greatest (active) LDS ballplayer of all time. If Eck has sobered up and returned to the fold, I’d probably go with him for longevity and success as both a starter and the best closer of all time.

  12. This is a clown list, bro. I demand an immediate Bryce Harper inclusion. Who cares if the kid hasn’t even a complete season in the bigs, he’s Bryce freaking Harper!

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