McKay Christensen

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Mormon Baseball Player McKay Christensen
McKay Christensen (Born August 14, 1975) in Upland, California, is a Major League Baseball outfielder. What makes him unusual is that he was drafted before serving as a full-time missionary.
Fresh out of high school, teenage athlete McKay Christensen was highly sought after by both baseball and football teams. As a running back, he held the California state record for touchdowns scored. In baseball, his batting average was .500 and he was named to the all-American team.
Everybody wanted him for either sport, but Christensen wanted to go on a mission. He was even offered a $1 million signing bonus to stay home and play Major League Baseball for the California Angels. A million dollars! Christensen's answer was classic—“My mission is not for sale.”
Christensen was called to serve in Japan, but then something unprecedented happened.
The California Angels were so taken with his ability and performance, they drafted him anyway—as the 6th pick in the first round of the amateur draft. As part of the deal, they offered to wait the two years Christensen would spend serving his mission before he would come play.
While on his mission, Christensen got up in the middle of the night to sign baseball cards, which was part of his contract. Those cards say something on the back that you won’t see on many other baseball cards:

"He will begin his pro-baseball career when he returns from his Mormon mission to Japan in 1996" . . . "he won't begin playing professionally until he completes a two-year Mormon mission."[1] [2]

The Angels traded him before he came home, but after his mission, Christensen made his debut on April 6, 1999 and played for the Chicago White Sox (1999-2001), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001), and the New York Mets (2002). Christensen last played in a Major League game on April 7, 2002, and is now retired and working as a real estate developer.

McKay Christensen card.jpg