Wally Joyner Mormon Athlete
Wallace Keith “Wally” Joyner is a former first baseman and a current hitting coach in Major League Baseball. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Joyner was born on June 16, 1962, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He studied business at Brigham Young University and played baseball for the BYU Cougars.
He played for the California Angels from 1986 to 1991. He was a fan favorite and the Anaheim Stadium, home to the Angels, became known as Wally World. Fans voted him into the 1986 All-Star Game, making him the first rookie to receive this honor. He tied Darryl Strawberry for first place in the 1986 Home Run Derby. Also that year, the Angels advanced to the American League Championship Series and came within one strike of winning their first World Series. Joyner was runner-up to José Canseco for 1986 Rookie of the Year.
Before playing for the Angels, Joyner played one year with the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League where he was top hitter. After playing for the Angels, he played with the Kansas City Royals for four years. He then played for the San Diego Padres for four years, where he was starting first baseman on the 1998 pennant-winning team. He played for the Atlanta Braves for one year before returning to the Angels. He retired in June 2001.
Joyner acted as a roving minor league instructor and spring training instructor for the Padres from 2003 to 2007. He also served as a special assistant to the Padres general manager. In July 2007, the Padres hired Joyner as their hitting coach. He resigned from that post in September 2008.
With the Philadelphia Phillies, Joyner was the assistant hitting coach and then first base coach in the 2012–2013 season. He joined the Detroit Tigers on November 18, 2013.
Joyner works for Major League Baseball International, which promotes the global growth of baseball. MLBI hosts baseball camps and Joyner travels to Tirrenia, Italy, for the month of August each year to serve as hitting coach to international youth baseball players. He has also coached at a similar camp in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Additional businesses Joyner is involved with are Padre Associates, Onset Financial, and Xocai (pronounced so-shy) chocolate.
Joyner supports the charities Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, California, and Hope Kids. Joyner invested in and made appearances in two films created mainly for members of the Church of Jesus Christ: Single’s Ward and The R.M.
Joyner and his wife Lesley and they have four daughters. They live in Mapleton, Utah. They train, ride, and compete with their eight horses throughout the Midwest.