Bruce Hurst: Mormon Athlete
Bruce Vee Hurst is a former professional baseball starting pitcher. He played for the Boston Red Sox from 1980 to 1988, the San Diego Padres from 1989 to 1993, the Colorado Rockies for one season (1993), and the Texas Rangers for 1994. His career highlight was during the 1986 World Series when he held the New York Mets to only four hits in game one. He pitched a winning game for Red Sox in game five. The Red Sox, however, won the series of seven games. Hurst was a 1987 All-Star and later inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in (2004).
Hurst was born on March 24, 1958, in St. George, Utah. Fresh out of high school, he was picked 22nd overall in the 1976 Major League Baseball draft. He debuted as a relief pitcher in the 1980 season. He pitched a few years in Boston’s Minor League system. He played in the longest game in baseball history: Pawtucket’s 3-2 win over Rochester that took 33 innings and more than two months to finish.
In 1988, he left the Red Sox to become a free agent and he signed a three-year contract with the San Diego Padres. In April 1989, he pitched a winning one-hitter game against the Atlanta Braves. He also picked up his first MLB hit as a batter. He pitched and batted left-handed.
Completing the 1992 season, where he pitched a one-hit shutout over the Mets, he began to feel pain in his left shoulder, which led to surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff and labrum. His lengthy rehabilitation caused him to miss most of the 1993 season. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies where he pitched only three games. He then signed with the Texas Rangers for the 1994 season, but due to continued problems from his surgery, he retired mid-season.
Hurst began a coaching career in 2005 when he and Jim Lefebvre coached China to a bronze medal at the 23rd Asian Baseball Championship; a first-time win for China. The following year, Hurst and Lefebvre coached the team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, but were eliminated in the first round. He returned to coach China in the World Baseball Classic in 2012 and 2013 (with John McLaren and Art Howe).
During spring training 2008, Hurst returned to the Red Sox to act as a pitching instructor and was named as special assistant for player development.
Hurst is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Holly, are the parents of four children and live in Arizona. He owns a hardware store with his brother. The Dixie State College baseball field is named in his honor.