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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 23, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 22Mar01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Mission Helped Stanford's Pitching Ace

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA -- If you want to pitch in the big leagues, there may not be any place better to play than Stanford University, especially this year, as the Cardinals have jumped to the top of Baseball America's college rankings. The school has developed a stellar baseball reputation, producing star pitchers like Mike Mussina, Jack McDowell and Rick Helling. But the school's latest ace, Jeremy Guthrie, has an added advantage, the maturity that comes to many after serving an LDS mission to Spain.

While getting into Stanford is difficult, making the team is even more so. The school's reputation both academically and in baseball allows it to pick and choose among the best high school prospects. But the school's academic standards only allow it to get 4 or 5 students through scholarships each year.

Guthrie is a good example. Unable to get into Stanford out of high school, he attended BYU for a year before going on his mission to Spain. There he learned fluent Spanish, but didn't throw a baseball for two years. Guthrie says the mission gave him a maturity he wouldn't have otherwise, "In the tough situations, I'm a little more mature mentally than I was before. Those things would affect me before. I didn't really come through in a lot of tough situations. And just the importance of the game to me, its just as high but on a different level. There's better balance."

That better balance has yielded a phenomenal performance record from Guthrie. The team is 5-0 when he is pitching, and Guthrie has earned a 0.94 ERA, the kind of number that makes major league scouts sit up and take notice.


Stanford Pitchers Remain Aces
San Francisco Chronicle 21Mar01 S2
By Jorge L. Ortiz: Chronicle Staff Writer


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