News Release

Nikolas Turley- Dreams, Family and Setting Goals for a Heavenly Home

Nik Turley is a Major League pitcher who loves his family and learned early in life to set goals for dreams and gospel blessings.

© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On game day in Hiroshima, Japan you will find Hiroshima Carp baseball fans everywhere you go wearing red “Carp” t-shirts, baseball caps, back packs, and jerseys. Baseball is a big deal in Japan. The fans in Hiroshima are proud to have a professional baseball team they can call their own. Nikolas Carlyle Turley, a pitcher for the team, was born and raised in La Cañada, California (USA). At 6’ 5”, he is easily recognized by loving fans throughout Hiroshima and neighboring cities.  Nik is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His parents and siblings all achieved great things by setting goals and working together to support one another.  He has an interesting story to share as a member of the Church and as an accomplished professional baseball player in the United States and in Japan. 

Nik Turley was born into a family that loved playing sports.  His parents and siblings were all very accomplished athletes. Nik was the youngest in the family, and with the examples of his parents and siblings, he learned the value and benefits of setting goals early in life. At age 8, when he was being interviewed for baptism, he told the bishop that he wanted to someday be a major league baseball player.

Growing up and in high school, Nik loved to play baseball, basketball, and water polo. His brothers chose to focus on basketball or water polo while he chose baseball. He states that his time playing water polo as a youth helped to develop his arm for pitching. As an accomplished baseball player in High School, he was offered a scholarship with Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  As college was about to begin, he was approached during the 2008 Major League Draft to consider playing professional baseball. As a result of his dream to play professionally, he decided to forgo college when selected in the draft to play with the New York Yankees.

Being raised in a loving family, Nik has always felt that families are important and that staying close as a family is a high priority. While his career has been a series of changes from one team to another, he has been successful in providing for his own family. In 2008, shortly after the draft, he met Rachel Johnson at church in a singles’ ward. At that time he was playing for the rookie league GCL Yankees. He wasn’t looking for a wife, but he’s happy they found each other. After they were married in 2011, the two of them initially traveled together while Nik played with multiple teams in the Yankees minor league system and with the Minnesota Twins.  Nik has also played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland As and the Chicago White Socks. However, to build a stronger family and to help provide for their four growing children’s development, Rachel and Nik established a home in Gilbert, Arizona. 

Another aspect of establishing strength for his family is that Nik was given the opportunity to play in Japan with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.  He is grateful that the Nippon League is generally “Old School” in that it offers him stability, with a traditionally styled team which culturally honors its organization.  Loyalty, dedication, and honor are well known qualities in the Japanese culture including the professional aspects of their lives.  In addition, he has been able to work with the younger players on the team to help them learn from his experience and to share gospel priorities that can improve their lives.

While living so far away from each other, Nik and Rachel have established goals that allow them to stay strong as a family. They work at maintaining righteous routines and holy habits to help support the family and to remain faithful in the gospel.  Nik shares his faith with teammates. He studies the gospel regularly on his own and has family prayer (via facetime) each day that he can. He is one of 5 foreign players on the team and as a church member, many of the players, media, and fans are surprised to see that he does not drink alcohol.  They know more about the church through his example, and he loves to share the gospel when he can.  His older brothers all served missions when he was young. He and Rachel have a goal to someday serve a mission together, as senior missionaries.  

The 2023 Nippon Baseball season has now come to an end, and the team has performed very well. The fans and the team are excited because they have made it to the Climax Series (playoffs). Nik has been on the injured reserve list for several weeks, but it appears he may now be able to get back on the mound and pitch for his team.  The series will begin the middle of October and Brother Turley hopes to help his team make it all the way to the Nippon Series. He has a fast ball that tops out at 99 miles per hour; a big asset for winning games. 

Nikolas Carlyle Turley loves his family and has always loved baseball. It is a career for him now, but it is still magical to him in its own way.  As for the Hiroshima Carp, they bring their own magic for the game to the playoffs.  The Carp fans are loyal and dedicated. Home games are always sold out. The away game stadiums are usually halfway filled with loyal Carp fans dressed in red. 

One thing is for sure, it will be a pleasure to see a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the mound performing his own magic, wearing a red Carp jersey. It will be an opportunity for Nik and all of us to remember that it all started by making goals and keeping covenants. Even though we may be away from our heavenly home, the fact that we can choose our path, make goals to achieve dreams, and have the gospel of Jesus Christ to bind us together and guide us through life is a great blessing. May we all be inclined to seize each day of opportunity we call life and may the tides of fortune smile upon us as we consider our goals to help strengthen our families and to return to a loving Heavenly Father.

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