Quite a following: Mormon major leaguer catches on with Twitter
During the 2011 postseason, Gurthie's Twitter account churned out enthusiastic and positive commentary about his contemporaries competing in the playoffs, such as: "Man, Casey Kotchman had such a nice year at the plate, swung the bat extremely well & was so consistent throughout. That was a clutch hit."
Also during October, Guthrie retweeted a quote given in general conference by Elder Robert D. Hales. Twitter was mentioned numerous times during conference gatherings in April and October 2011, and the hashtag #ldsconf, which identifies conference-related tweets, gained a lot of traction in the past year.
Guthrie says he doesn't have an "end game" for his Twitter presence. He just enjoys the interaction and appreciates the platform "when there is a specific goal in mind."
After the baseball season ended, Guthrie was able to tour Taiwan with a traveling group of major leaguers and tweeted about the experience. MLB.com carried a story about Guthrie and his wife, Jenny, visiting the Morrison Academy in Taichung City and speaking to the students about education and priorities.
While there, he was able to interact with several Spanish-speaking major leaguers he had competed against, but who had no idea he was fluent in the language. Guthrie served a full-time mission in Bilbao, Spain.
"Them hearing my Spanish brought a smile to their face," he said. "They would say 'I never knew you spoke Spanish all these years.' It certainly catches a lot of guys off-guard."
In November, Guthrie pointed his followers to an ESPN.com report about his involvement in a public outreach campaign about the dangers of tobacco use.
And in early December, he tweeted a picture of the Salt Lake Temple with the message, "Happy Holidays from Salt Lake City."
Guthrie, who was the subject of some trade speculation last year, will soon be joining the Orioles for the sixth consecutive season and, likely, tweeting about his experiences along the way.
Baseball can be a frustrating game, but Guthrie has learned to approach it in his typically positive fashion.
"Focus on the process and the effort you're giving and the work you're putting in and trying to get better," he said. "If you're always working and getting better, I think it's a lot easier to deal with the failures as they come."
Aaron Shill is the editor of Features and Mormon Times at the Deseret News.
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