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There’s a real focus on diet right across the world as more people are looking to cut animal products completely out. It is highlighted by restaurants across the country increasing their options to cater to those people, but sales of plant-based foods have rocketed to their highest ever levels.
A recent report published by Yahoo, states consumers purchased more plant-based foods than ever before, and the sales figures are rising three times faster than overall food sales. Amongst those choosing to maintain vegan diets are some of the most famous names in sport; we’ve already noted NBA players are appreciating the benefits, but also there are many Major League Baseball players doing the same.
The 5 Vegan Baseball Players in the MLB
1. Pat Neshek
Two-time MLB All-Star Pat Neshek is a huge advocate of a vegan diet and has been for many years. Neshek played for the Minnesota Twins, the St Louis Cardinals, and the Philadelphia Phillies in a 13-year career in the big league.
After his breakthrough with the Twins, he changed his eating habits after being questioned by his wife, Stephanee, about his propensity to eat fast food on the road. So he took the plunge and didn’t look back. Neshek said: “I decided to become a vegan and get rid of all the animal products – meat and dairy. At first, it was basically just for the health benefits. I was intrigued by the 2005 season when I cut a lot of that stuff out and got a lot better. It really changed my career.”
2. CC Sabathia
One of the legends of the MLB, CC Sabathia, took to becoming a vegan to lengthen his career as he felt the pressure of aging on his body, playing late into his 30s. Like Neshek, Sabathia is also an MLB All-Star. However, he was included in the best of the best team six times throughout his 18-year career.
During his time with the New York Yankees, he was also a World Series champion, and boy could they do with a player like him right now. In the latest Coral odds for the 2022 World Series, they’re lagging behind the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Astros. In fact, the last time the Yankees won the World title, it was with Sabathia as a pitcher way back in 2009.
The now 41-year-old, who hails from California, said that taking on a vegan diet helped him stay healthy and stay on the field, which helped him become the only pitcher to debut in the 21st century and post at least 250 wins in regular-season play.
3. Josh Donaldson
Another Yankee on this list is their current big-hitting third baseman, Josh Donaldson. The 36-year-old recently moved to New York following two years with the Minnesota Twins and got a bright start. Smashing his first home run in spring training earlier this month against the Baltimore Orioles.
Donaldson is another player who turned to a vegan diet to promote better health, in 2018, he struggled to maintain his fitness, with shoulder and calf injuries taking their toll as he only featured 52 times. The difference was remarkable the following season; Donaldson played in 155 games for his then club, the Atlanta Braves, and was named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year.
4. Ty Kelly
Born in Dallas, Texas, Ty Kelly is one of the unsung heroes of Major League Baseball, one of those who toil away in the background, being taken on as a professional but waiting years for a chance at the big time. Kelly spent eight years starring in the New York Penn League, South Atlantic League, and Carolina League before being called up to the MLB in 2016 by the Mets.
The utility player who was so versatile many thought he would be able to play in all nine positions on the field went vegan during a spell with the Phillies in 2017. “It’s a lot of peanut butter sandwiches pregame and stuff like that,” Kelly said. ”
At home, I have a lot of frozen black bean and quinoa patties and boca burger patties and stuff like that. So postgame I can always go home and make that. But on the road, it’s a lot of ordering food and being ready for a couple meals a day.”
5. Tony LaRussa
Although LaRussa was a player in the MLB for ten seasons, he’s now more well known for his various roles off the field. The former Chicago Cubs infielder went from player to manager six years after kicking off his cleats for the final time.
During his managerial career to date, in which he’s taken charge of the White Sox over two spells, the Oakland Athletics, and the St Louis Cardinals, he’s led teams to the World Series three times, once with the A’s and twice with the Cards.
He’s a fiercely determined character who’s not afraid to say what he thinks, and it’s something that has got him into hot water on many occasions. However, when it comes to his diet, he is just as forthright with his views. LaRussa began to cut meat out in 1977 after seeing a documentary on how meat is processed, and it’s something that has stuck with him since.