Mitch Talbot

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Mormon Baseball Pitcher Mitch Talbot

Mitch Talbot is a major league baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church. Talbot was born on October 17, 1983, in Cedar City, Utah, the youngest of six children.

Talbot graduated from Canyon View High School in Utah and was a member of the Salt Lake Tribune's All-State second team during his senior season. Talbot played for the minor leagues for seven years. He was drafted in the second round in 2002 by the Houston Astros. The fork in the road for Talbot was to go to college and then on a mission for the Church, or to go directly from high school into pro ball. At the time, Talbot was not "spiritually minded," so he was more attracted to immediately going after a pro career. However, when he witnessed the party scene that accompanied playing in the minors, he felt uncomfortable and requested his scriptures from home. He began to climb spiritually. [1]

Talbot spent his first four years working his way from rookie ball in the Astros' farm system to Double-A. From Houston, Talbot was shipped off to Tampa Bay, where he was quickly buried in a farm system rich in pitching. While pitching for Triple-A Durham, he was called up only once, on July 1, 2008. After the start, he was sent back down to Durham. Meanwhile, he was ordained an elder in 2006 and met his future wife while playing basketball in Cedar City during the offseason. In December of 2007, Talbot and Julie Stradling, of Gilbert, Ariz., were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

After only two starts in the majors, and then an elbow injury, Talbot was traded to the Indians. After a slow start (he allowed six hits, four runs and walked five batters in five innings of work in a 4-2 loss at Detroit), Talbot improved. At his home debut at Progressive Field against the Chicago White Sox, he threw a six-hit, no-walk game in which he retired 12 straight batters and had 17 groundouts. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

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