I just wanted to share the story of BYU’s Taylor Cole, a standout baseball pitcher, and why he impressed me so much.  Five years ago my son Matthew was playing high school baseball and really wanted to try to get a chance to play at the college level before and after his mission.  We were told to go speak with a particular professional scout who worked for the Los Angeles Angels.  We were told he could help guide an LDS athlete through the baseball recruiting process.

Tyler Cole LDS Missionary Baseball

Former BYU Pitcher Taylor Cole image via ldsmag.com

We scheduled a time to meet and went to the scout’s office in California.  My son Matthew explained that he wanted to serve an LDS mission after playing a year of college baseball and needed some advice from the professional scout on the best way to proceed.  Matthew was concerned that some colleges would shy away from giving him a scholarship knowing that he would leave their baseball program after just one year.

The scout thought about it for a moment and then said he wanted to share with us the story of another LDS player he had worked with by the name of Taylor Cole.  Taylor also shared the same desire to play baseball and serve an LDS mission.  He was a top high school recruit out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.  He was so talented that many professional teams were interested in drafting him to play professionally right out of high school.

He had the rare ability to throw a baseball 95 miles per hour.  In fact, this scout we were sitting with had convinced the Los Angeles Angels to make Taylor one of their top draft picks in the draft back in 2007.  He told us that he had consulted with the top executives within the Angels organization and they were prepared to offer approximately $870,000 to Taylor if he would sign up with them.  The scout had the contract written up and had it hidden in his desk drawer while he was talking with Taylor.

However, before the scout could even bring up specific dollars and signing bonuses, Taylor told the scout that he had decided…

Read the full story on Meridian Magazine.