Oakland A’s Prospect Retires From Baseball at 23 to Join Priesthood

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January 22, 2010

Most minor league baseball players live for the day they get called up to the majors. One Oakland A?s prospect got a different call Friday. Instead of hearing GM Billy Beane, Grant Desme heard the voice of God.

According to FoxSports.com, Desme decided to call it quits in baseball and join the priesthood.

Desme was recently named the MVP of the 2009 Arizona Fall League, which features some of the top young talent in baseball. In addition, the outfielder was minor league baseball?s only 30-30 player, notching a batting average of .288 with 31 homers, 89 RBIs and 40 stolen bases in Class A ball.

The A?s lose a strong farmhand. Baseball America ranked Desme as the eighth-best prospect in the A?s organization.

"We respect Grant's decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors," Beane told the San Jose Mercury News.

Rob Fai, the assistant GM with an Oakland minor league affiliate, knew the former second-round pick was devoutly religious, but was shocked by the timing of his retirement, considering Desme had a chance to be a big leaguer within a few years.

"In my perspective, the guy could be a priest when he?s 35 or 60," Fai told FoxSports.com. "Here?s a guy who?s so unbelievably close to making it. The timing is the one factor I can?t figure out."

Even so, in a baseball world filled with steroids, alcohol abuse and countless other legal issues, Fai always saw a guy who could be trusted.

"He might have been the quietest high-end draft pick I?ve ever seen," Fai told the Web site. "He is probably the one guy I?d let my daughter date. Now I?m even more confident about that."

Desme plans to enter a Catholic seminary, St. Michael's Abbey in Orange County, Calif., in August, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life," Desme told reporters on a conference call. "I love the game, but I'm going to aspire to higher things."

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