ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 20 Jun 2001   For week ended June 15, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 14Jun01

By Kent Larsen

Has Elder Iorg Given it All Away?

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Elder Isaac Iorg, serving an LDS mission in East LA, got a birthday present last week. It was the answer to a childhood dream, a present that would allow him to be just like his dad, but no one told him about it for days. He finally discovered the present when his mission president told him several days later. And now, his family awaits his return home June 20th to see what he will do with the present.

Elder Iorg's present was a draft notice -- from the Toronto Blue Jays, the baseball team that his dad played for from 1978 to 1987, and that now employs him as first base coach. Isaac's mission president printed out the draft notice to show him when he gave him the news, but his family still doesn't really know how Isaac reacted.

Isaac was raised playing baseball. As a second baseman for Florida's Dunedin National little league team in 1991, he went to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Later, after the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where his father, Garth, was manager for the Blue Jay's Double-A team, Isaac played baseball in High School, and he was good enough that the Blue Jays wanted him as soon as he graduated, drafting him in 1998.

But instead of following his father, who was drafted at age 18 by the New York Yankees in 1973, Isaac decided to go to college and play at BYU. His freshman year, Isaac hit .400 as the starting shortstop, and then decided to go on a mission.

For the past two years, Isaac has served in one of the more poverty-stricken areas of the US, living in East LA at one time in a member's converted garage best known in the mission for the bullet holes in the door. Naturally he took along some baseball equipment, a bat, ball and two gloves, hoping to get in some fun on his preparation days.

But where others, including members of their extended family, see sacrifice in delaying a major league career, Garth sees advantage for his son, "Everybody thinks it's some great sacrifice he's made. Believe me, he's gotten far more out of it than what he even anticipated," his father said. "He's seen another part of life. He's learned Spanish. He's had incredible experiences you can only have if you're out doing that kind of work. It's been mostly pleasant, but a lot of unpleasant things have happened to him. But that's part of doing what you've committed to do. It's not easy doing the right things sometimes. But he's done the right thing."

But what Garth and his wife Patty don't know is what exactly they will get back when Isaac returns home, what changes the mission will have made in their son. "It's like when you have a baby and you're wondering who that baby will be," Patty Iorg said. "Not the sex, or the color of the hair or eyes. You want to know: Who is that little person? That's what I feel like now."

They have carefully read Isaac's letters home, as parents will do, looking for signs of what he thinks and feels and how he is changing on his mission. And he has changed. He has mentioned law school, and he knows that a BYU scholarship awaits him should he decide to go there. Or, Toronto may offer enough money for school expenses in the off-season, attracting him to baseball.

His parents also have evidence that the changes in Isaac have made baseball less important to him than other things. While he did take the baseball equipment with him, he won't be bringing it home. Struck by the poverty around him, Isaac has given the bat, ball and gloves away.

Now, Garth and Patty await his return to see what Isaac will do with his life. His mother has arranged a surprise for his homecoming, June 20th. While Isaac knows that his sister and her husband will fly from their home in Tampa for his arrival, he doesn't know about another family member who will be there unexpectedly. "I told Garth, 'You missed graduation for Eli. There are a few other things you've missed. You will be there when he gets off that plane. You either talk to (manager) Buck (Martinez) or I will,' " Patty said. "So Isaac has no idea Garth will be there.

"My family will be together for the first time in two years. Garth has the field, but my job is my family. When we are all together; that's my reward."


Baseball calls; life beckons
St Petersburg FL Times 13Jun01 S2
By John Romano


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information