- April 15, 2021: 3 for 3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB
Justin hit three home runs in the past six games
|DOB:||11/23/1984||Agent:||Gem Agency - Greg Genske|
|Birth City:||Long Beach, CA|
|Draft:||Reds #7 - 2006 - Out of Cal State-Fullerton|
Turner's father, John, was a childhood friend of former Cal State-Fullerton assistant coach Rick Vanderhook. And Justin was a batboy for the team.
Justin was only 3 years old when he would stand 10 feet from his grandfather and eagerly catch 50 balls in a row before he was released for dinner.
His dad, John, would return home from his work as a machinist in Long Beach, Calif. before dinner to coach Justin's youth teams. Then head back to the office until 10:00 or 11:00. Justin's mother, Betsy, has worked at Boeing for 37 years, starting in human resources before working her way up to engineer.
Turner grew up 10 miles south of Chavez Ravine, but he never dreamed of becoming a Dodger. That seemed unattainable. He just wanted to play at Cal State-Fullerton.
He beat out the competition for Fullerton's second base job, not just on the field but also in the weight room and on the track. He studied opponents' batting practice tendencies to give himself an extra step on defense. (Stephanie Apstein - Sports Illustrated - 8/28/2017)
In the 2003 College World Series, Turner was a freshman for Cal State-Fullerton. He was hit in the face while squaring to bunt on a pitch against Stanford. Turner also broke his ankle on the play and missed Team USA's college national trials after doctors determined that he broke a bone in his ankle on the play. He earned freshman All-American honors.
As a senior, Justin recovered to have a steady, gritty college career and saved his best for last, posting career highs in batting (.352), slugging (.500), and stolen bases (18). That was after he declined to sign with the Yankees as a 29th-round pick in 2005.
In 2006, Turner got drafted by the Reds (see Transactions below).
In 2008, Baseball America rated Turner as the 29th-best prospect in the Reds' organization. In the spring of 2009, after moving to the Orioles' farm system, he was named their 27th-best prospect.
Turner has excellent baseball savvy and is a team leader. He has outstanding instincts for the game. He is a baseball rat who gets everything and more out of limited tools. He has a real competitive drive, good makeup, and knows how to play the game. He is a good guy.
Justin was nicknamed "Red" when he was a youngster.
Typically, Turner helps his father string the Christmas lights each winter outside the family's Southern California home. A Santa Claus sleigh with all nine reindeer highlight a display that might make Clark Griswold blush.
Then, in December 2011, Turner's father untangled the lights back home and Justin came home a few days later to discover a new addition in his yard: a light-up baseball player complete with Mets logo. "It looks like David Wright," Turner said, laughing.
While playing for Cal State-Fullerton, Justin got to play second base while Kevin Costner played shortstop in an intra-squad game. Costner is a Cal State grad and occasionally shows up to work out with the team.
Turner, a free spirit with a flowing red beard and an almost unquenchable thirst for the moment when a high-90s fastball or nasty slider meets the barrel of his bat, has undergone a transformation.
For Turner, the light went on in the summer of 2013, as he traveled through the Major Leagues as a reserve infielder on a 74-win Mets team. Marlon Byrd, released by the Red Sox, had signed a Minor League deal with the Mets after a prolific winter in Mexico. (Byrd, the Reds outfielder who overhauled his swing and lengthened his career while serving a PED suspension in 2012.)
Byrd shared with Turner how he had torn down and rebuilt his swing working with Latta (Doug Latta, a former high school coach who teaches hitting out of a batting cage in an industrial park in the San Fernando Valley, west of Los Angeles), over the previous year, making use of the down time during his suspension. The two would spend the next winter working together at The Ballyard, Latta's cage, with Turner driving from North Hollywood and Byrd from Malibu, and Turner's approach to hitting was transformed.
"It wasn't something that just happened overnight,'' Turner said. "We did it five days a week for four months, trying to fix [my swing] and get to where I can repeat it. Went to Spring [Training], had success. Throughout all 2014, from that base we established, we made adjustments on the fly within the parameters of the philosophies we had, and started having success.''
Before working with Byrd and Latta, Turner had played in 318 Major League games, with his versatility as a fielder and success as a pinch-hitter his calling cards. He hit .260 with a .685 OPS and a home run every 105 at-bats on average.
In his two seasons with the Dodgers, Turner played in 172 games and was batting .334 with a .927 OPS and a homer every 27 at-bats (as of June 26, 2015). His emergence played a role in the trade of Juan Uribe to the Braves in May 2015. (Rogers - mlb.com - 6/25/15)
The fiery red hair came from his great grandpa on his mother's side, but Justin said just about everything else about him has been influenced by his father, John. And for as long as he's a Dodger, Justin said one of the best side benefits is that he often gets to celebrate Father's Day at home with dad, which is something baseball players don't take for granted.
"The coolest thing is that from 2013 to 2016 we're here, and [my dad] comes out and gets to enjoy the game," said Justin, who grew up in suburban Bellflower, Calif., and went to school at Cal State-Fullerton, down the I-5 from Dodger Stadium. "In 2014, on Father's Day against the Diamondbacks, I got to pinch-hit and got a double off Oliver Perez and the Diamondbacks.
"Maybe the gift he enjoyed the most was my freshman year in college. We were in the College World Series against Stanford, and I went 3-for-4 and had my first collegiate home run. I'm sure if you asked him, he'd say that was the best Father's Day gift I ever gave him."
For as far back as Justin can remember, John was there to guide his baseball career and set an example for life.
"I have a Christmas video, I was about 3 years old and he bought me a plastic T-ball set," said Justin. "I still watch the video. I got a slide, so I slide down the slide, grab the bat, hit the ball off the tee and go shoot a basket. That's my earliest baseball memory of my dad's getting me going. My dad played in high school and some of his teammates had baseball careers. Mike Fitzgerald, he played in the big leagues. Rick Vanderhook was one of my coaches at Fullerton. My dad's relationships definitely had an impact on my life as a baseball player.
"He coached all my teams all the way up, and even the freshman high school baseball team and on my travel ball teams. All the way until I got to college, he was with me every game and every practice, staying on me, pushing to get the best out of me." (Gurnick - MLB.com - 6/16/16)
Justin's hard-nosed gamer mentality? He said that's his dad in him. "A lot of it was mental, learning how to win, learning how to be successful and learning how to overcome, learning toughness," he said. "He's pretty hard-nosed and vocal and loud. One of the things growing up and playing for him, a lot of my friends on other teams thought he was a little crazy. Then they came over and played for him, and they loved him. He's going to let you know you messed up, and two seconds later, his arm is around you and he's picking you up. It was tough love, not just for me but all my friends.
"When dad's the coach, you definitely don't want to disappoint him, you want to play hard. Stuff comes up, maybe an injury or something nagging, you don't want to say anything and you learn to play through it. And that carries over to today, knowing what you can play with and what you can't play with. You see guys with the smallest thing come up and they're out of the lineup. I learned from an early age that you can play through that stuff."
Turner played in the College World Series three times, winning the championship in his junior season in 2004. "It was awesome," Turner said. "The reason you go to college is to get to Omaha. It was unbelievable."
MLB stars have come up with some pretty elaborate ways to pop the question in recent years. Mike Trout took to the skies. Elvis Andrus laid out approximately four tons of roses. Sean Doolittle enlisted the help of musical luminary Smash Mouth.
Only one, however, went all the way to one of the natural wonders of the world: Justin proposed to his girlfriend at the Grand Canyon. (Landers - mlb.com - 3/12/17)
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts likes to look at Justin as the glue that holds the clubhouse together.
The strangest thing is happening with Justin Turner: He is turning into this larger-than-life player. It was miraculous enough that Turner became a regular in the big leagues. And then it was another miracle when he became good enough to move into the middle of the Dodgers' lineup. And then, yet another miracle, he became an All-Star.
"He's never off balance," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's rarely fooled. It looks to me like he's up there taking batting practice."
"There's just not a weakness when he hits," said Turner's teammate, Clayton Kershaw. "That's probably the biggest thing. Just looking at him from a pitcher standpoint, I don't really know where you can throw a fastball in the strike zone to get him out."
"He has that poise for the big moment," added Dave Roberts said. This is how baseball people have talked about the post-season legends, how they talked about Lou Brock or Reggie Jackson or George Brett or Albert Pujols. And this is the crazy stratosphere that Turner now enters. And it is just so wildly unlikely.
On Oct. 6, 2017, Turner took over another postseason game, a 9-5 win over the D-backs in Game 1 of the NLDS. In the first inning, he mashed a three-run homer that essentially ended Arizona's hopes before they had even built up. In the third inning, he cracked an RBI single that gave the Dodgers a five-run lead and stifled Arizona's small comeback hopes. And in the eighth, he grounded a run-scoring single through the infield, and that gave him five RBIs, which tied him with beloved Dodgers Pedro Guerrero and Davey Lopes for the most in a postseason game in franchise history.
The crazy part is this is just what the Dodgers have come to expect from Turner—especially in the postseason. He's now hitting .383 in the postseason and slugging .667. People are just expecting him to dominate October. And it's so easy to forget that this is a player who had been chewed up and spit out again and again by this game.
The Dodgers are loaded with players who were destined to be stars long before they ever became stars. Shortstop Corey Seager was the best prospect in the game and then the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. Cody Bellinger was one of the best prospects in the game and he'll likely be the Rookie of the Year this season. Yasiel Puig sparked a gigantic bidding war before he ever played in a single Minor League baseball game. Kershaw was in the big leagues at age 20 and he won his first Cy Young at 23. Turner, meanwhile, was a non-prospect.
Even his college coach at Cal-State Fullerton, George Horton, who loves Turner like a son, conceded that by pure talent Turner was "a below average runner, below average this, below average that." Cincinnati threw him into a multi-player trade for a backup catcher before he ever made the big leagues. Baltimore gave him a handful of big league at-bats before releasing him. The Mets picked him off the scrap heap when he was 25, and they gave him a chance to be a utility player for three seasons. And the fact that he even got that chance was against the odds.
After some time scraping for at-bats, playing wherever they put him, always being ready to pinch-hit, the Mets called Turner up one day in December 2013 to say they were not bringing him back. They didn't give him a reason. There were rumors the Mets didn't think he hustled enough. Boy did that make Turner mad. NOBODY hustled as much as Justin Turner. For a while, no team showed a lot of interest. It wasn't until just a few days before the 2014 season began that the Dodgers signed him to a Minor League deal. He was 29 years old and seemingly on the brink of a new life as a scout or Minor League manager.
Only, Turner didn't see it that way. He had been working on his swing, working on it obsessively, hours every day. He thought that he had found something in his last month with the Mets, when he hit .357 with some power. He had big ideas.
And then with the Dodgers he was flat amazing. He hit .340 his first year to earn a starting job for the first time in his career. The next year, he played at an All-Star level for much of the season, and in the postseason he turned into Superman, hitting .526 in a crushing playoff series loss to the Mets.
In 2016, he added power to the mix, hitting 27 home runs and getting some MVP votes. He hit .400 in a playoff series against the Nationals. And then 2017 his best year of all. He hit .322, slugging a career-high .530. He also played superb defense and even stole a few bases. And he's even better in the playoffs.
How does this happen? "It almost amplifies in the playoffs," Kershaw said of Turner's postseason performance. "He just seems to get that much more locked in." Kershaw shrugs. He doesn't know how Turner does it. Roberts shrugs. He doesn't know either. So you ask Turner. He shrugs, too. "You just have not try to do too much," he says. "And make sure you get a good pitch." (Joe Posnanski - MLB - Oct.7, 2017)
Justin Turner is like a spore, capable of multiple mutations and resistant to adverse environmental conditions.
He challenges our idea of what an athlete looks like: the sun dog beard, the bright red hair bouncing behind him as he runs. Be honest: If you looked at his profile photo without knowing his occupation, how long would it take to guess: a $12 million per year professional athlete? (Tim Keown - ESPN the Magazine - 10/02/2017)
When you think of Orel Hershiser on the mound, you probably imagine one of his dominant outings in the 1988 World Series. No matter which moment of his Hall of Fame career you think about, you're no doubt picturing his fierce on-field demeanor. A man nicknamed "Bulldog" has a bit of a reputation—but even he can feel humbled in certain circumstances, such as being asked to officiate the wedding between Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and his now-wife, Kourtney.
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times detailed, this all began back in June, when Justin and Kourtney met up with Hershiser at a Dodgers fundraising event in Los Angeles. Their strong friendship with Hershiser and his wife, Dana, inspired Justin and Kourtney to ask him the big question.
Hershiser revealed to Shaikin just how much this took him by total surprise: "I actually teared up," Hershiser said. "To know Justin's background—growing up in Southern California, with the Dodgers a huge part of his life—for him to think that highly of me in the past and then in the present, that made it a huge honor."
It should come as absolutely no surprise to find out that no matter how nervous Hershiser felt about this responsibility (telling Shaikin he almost couldn't enjoy the three-day wedding trip due to his nerves), he totally aced the ceremony and helped the Turners have a picture-perfect getaway wedding. (Adrian Garro - MLB.com - March 6, 2018)
Dec 6, 2017: Justin had the star-studded bachelor party that you could only dream of. After assembling a group of great talents like former NFL players LaDainian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman, NBA stars James Harden, Chris Paul, Bobby Brown and Larry Nance Jr., former Major Leaguers Josh Satin and Ricky Romero among others, Turner and his buds held a half-court shooting competition. The group then watched the Chargers defeat the Browns. Unfortunately, there was no beard-off between Turner and Harden because—gasp—Turner trimmed it. First hanging out with fellow famous redhead Ed Sheeran (who plays Turner's walk-up song) and now this? Suffice to say, the Dodgers' third baseman is having quite the offseason. (M Clair - MLB.com - Dec 6, 2017)
Dec 17, 2018: We all know that there is no such thing as a true offseason in baseball. Rather, the offseason provides the best time for players to improve and make adjustments for the next season. Even while working hard to improve, though, players have plenty of time to relax and enjoy hobbies they don't have time for during the season.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner discovered that his offseason fishing hobby could double as a workout for the day when he and his buddies reeled in a giant marlin.
Lifting that fish into the boat probably provided a perfectly adequate workout for the day. Now that his workout is out of the way, Turner can get back to enjoying a relaxing offseason day of fishing. (E Chesterton - MLB.com - Dec 17, 2018)
The Dodgers aren’t shy when it comes to taking part in viral social media challenges and campaigns. Over the years, various players of the organization have participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, Whip Cream Challenge and Lemon Face Challenge, to name a few.
The latest craze derives from the critically-acclaimed Netflix movie, “Bird Box,” starring Sandra Bullock. The film’s plot essentially consists of Bullock’s character often tasked to complete a wide range of objectives while being blindfolded.
Justin Turner added his own twist to the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ craze, where he attempted to take batting practice without the use of his eyes. (Matt Borelli - Dodger Blue- 01/07/2019)
Jan. 22, 2019: Around the greater Los Angeles area, Justin Turner is something of a big deal. Hitting dramatic postseason walk-off homers on the anniversary of Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series blast will do that.
His energy, leadership and commitment to charitable work with his Justin Turner Foundation have elevated Turner to this status in the community, and it all came full circle with "Justin Turner Day" at City Hall.
Jan 28, 2019: Before posing for selfies with donors and sponsors, embracing Albert Pujols, Robin Ventura, former teammate Chase Utley, current teammate Austin Barnes and broadcaster Orel Hershiser when they arrived at Sherwood Country Club, and before teeing off at his fourth annual charity golf classic, Justin Turner and wife Kourtney were stuffing Adidas backpacks with all kinds of swag for their supporters.
"We feel blessed and we want to give back to people that might need a little loving and are going through tough times," said Turner.
The Turners cram about as much fundraising and community outreach into an offseason as is humanly possible, which included repeated appearances during the Dodgers Love L.A. tour.
"We work with veterans and we work with kids in hospitals, we visit them and try to give them positive experiences when they are going through a tough time," said Turner. "We sent kids to Disneyland that had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital, and that's not supposed to happen. It's because of this event that we have the means to do that."
"We've been able to open up a men's home for homeless veterans after the first tournament, and last year, because of the response of last year's tournament, we opened a women's veterans homeless shelter," said Clint Carlton of the Dream Center, which partners with Turner's foundation.
"We've also worked with the three major hospitals in Los Angeles, sending kids to Disneyland with their families. Justin and Kourtney are in it together." Kourtney Turner said the couple are grateful they can help. "Justin's been given such a great platform," said Kourtney. "It's a no-brainer for us." (K Gurnick - MLB.com - Jan 28, 2019)
Oct 18, 2019: Considering the most recent Dodgers results, any assessment of Justin Turner in 2019 should begin with his postseason play. In the biggest games of the year, Turner always shows up, which can’t be said for enough Dodgers. In this year’s National League Division Series, Turner had a 1.000 OPS. Enough said.
His regular season was nothing to be embarrassed about, either. He matched his career high with 27 home runs, even though he had only one in April. He set a career best with 80 runs scored. His .973 fielding percentage at third base was the best of his career, even though other defensive metrics were not as flattering.
What went right?
On offense, Turner's regular-season stats were as solid as expected, and his ability to work counts and deliver in October is matched on the Dodgers only by Max Muncy. And, as usual, Turner was the L.A. clubhouse leader. Probably most important, the veteran stayed generally healthy.
“I felt pretty good all year,” he said. “I know I haven't been on the injured list this year, which I've spent a lot of time on in my career. But I have had some stretches where I've been dealing with some things and it wasn't necessarily big enough to where I had to miss [games]. And in September I was fortunate enough that the rosters were already expanded, so I didn't have to go on there. But I think it's just one of those things that the older you get, the stuff happens. And you have aches and you have bumps and bruises and it's not quite as easy to just shake it off and get out there. So I'm happy with how much I've been on the field.”
What went wrong?
He showed no power in April (nothing new there; he has three April homers in his career). And he had limited opportunities in September while nursing those minor dings. He’ll be 35 soon, which is why there’s an assumption he will move across the diamond to first base sooner or later.
Turner's glove and arm are still Major League solid, but his range is declining. FanGraphs defensive metrics tell the tale.
Here are his Defensive Runs Saved at third base since 2016:2016: 7 2017: 6 2018: 1 2019: -7
And here’s his Ultimate Zone Rating in that same span:
2016: 9.2 2017: -1.8 2018: -1.8 2019: -6.7
On May 7, Turner slugged a career-high three home runs with six RBIs in a 9-0 win over Atlanta.
Turner enters the final year of a four-year, $64 million contract as the anchor of the Dodgers' batting order and presumably as the starter at third. (K Gurnick - MLB.com - Oct 18, 2019)
Nov 27, 2019: Turner also walks the walk in hosting celebrity charitable functions. He held an AM 570 Veterans Day Radiothon that supported the Justin Turner Foundation and the LA Dream Center. Iconic broadcaster Vin Scully called in and teammate Matt Beaty appeared in studio. The Justin Turner Foundation’s mission is to support homeless veterans, children and their families battling life-altering illnesses and diseases, and various youth organizations.
The 5th annual Justin Turner Golf Classic is held on Jan. 20, 2020 at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks. Last year’s star-studded guest list included noted philanthropist Albert Pujols of the Angels. (K Gurnick - MLB.com - Nov 27, 2019)
April 17, 2020: Justin Turner not only qualifies as the perfect Dodgers player, but he checks the most important boxes for manager material. In the clubhouse, he’s a leader, a communicator, and he has been a high performer on the game’s biggest stage. He overcame the failure of being non-tendered to develop into an All-Star with a gamer approach. He’s a product of the analytics generation, handles the media deftly and relates to any culture. Maybe the only box unchecked is whether he wants (or needs) the aggravation of being a manager, because when he’s done playing, he’ll have greater financial security than any current manager. (K Gurnick - MLB.com - April 17, 2020)
The story of Justin Turner’s MLB debut
The first domino, leading to Justin Turner’s 2009 Major League debut, fell in 2007. With the fifth pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected top collegiate catching prospect Matt Wieters — a switch-hitting, powerful, big-bodied backstop who was an offensive force in his three seasons at Georgia Tech. Wieters was bound to move quickly through the Baltimore system and take over the starting catcher job in the big leagues.However, veteran catcher Ramón Hernández was in the path.
In the 2008 offseason, the Orioles decided to accelerate Wieters’ path to the starting position and traded Hernández on Dec. 8 to Cincinnati for utilityman Ryan Freel and what the Baltimore Sun reported as “two prospects.”In the sixth paragraph, Turner is mentioned as one.Turner, a 2006 seventh-round pick by the Reds out of Cal State Fullerton, reached Double-A for the first time in 2008 and hit .289/.359/.432/.792 with eight homers in 78 games at the level.Baltimore elevated Turner to Triple-A Norfolk in his first year in the organization. Here, Turner wrote a monthly blog about his first four months with the club. He ranked 10th in the International League with a .300 batting average and hit two homers in 108 games. On Sept. 6, 2009, he ended his Minor League season going 0-for-3 in a 3–2 loss to the Durham Bulls.The CallupOn a recent episode of the Dodgers podcast “Off Air With Joe and Orel,” Turner told the story of his first Major League call up.“Our last series was in Durham (North Carolina) … and (the Orioles) hadn’t told anyone whether or not they were being called up. So everyone drove their cars to Durham because once the last game was over we weren’t making the playoffs, if we weren’t getting called up we were just going to drive home straight from Durham,” Turner told Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser.After the Triple-A Norfolk Tides’ final game of the 2009 season on Sept. 6, a 24-year-old Turner got the news that he was to become a Baltimore Oriole.Plans changed. Turner and a few other teammates who got called up needed to join the team, which was getting ready to start a series in Boston. Turner made a hurried five-hour drive to Baltimore, checked into a hotel and then woke up at 5 a.m. There wasn’t a direct flight to Boston, so he took a flight with a stop in New York. He finally arrived in Boston around noon.“
It was a real whirlwind of emotions,” Turner said. On Sept. 8, 2009, only one team in the American League had a worse record than the Orioles. And on this day, they were getting crushed by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. In the top of the seventh, Baltimore trailed 9-0. With one out, Turner pinch-hit for Melvin Mora and struck out swinging against Clay Buchholz. Wieters immediately followed with a single. Turner came up one more time in the game, lining out in the ninth inning against Michael Bowden.
Turner collected his first Major League hit in his next game at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 12, 2009, with a single in the top of the ninth inning off reliever Mike Dunn. The game began on Sept. 11, but a rain delay and with rosters expanded, the game dragged into the next day. In the third inning of that game, Derek Jeter collected his 2,722 hit of his career, breaking Lou Gehrig’s all-time Yankees record.
“I got to first base and (Jose) Molina was actually playing first base, and he looks at me and he goes, ‘That’s your first hit?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Congrats. You only have like 2,760 more to catch Jeter,’” Turner told Joe and Orel. (Cary Osborne - Aug. 12, 2020)
“Justin and [his wife] Kourtney do just amazing things in the community and are always serving,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “It’s just remarkable how he can balance a Major League Baseball season and still serve the community. He just does a fantastic job.”
Turner, the epitome of a Dodger—a Southern California native who still lives there, an All-Star on the field, leader in the clubhouse and the community. In his seventh season as a Dodger, Justin and Kourtney run the Justin Turner Foundation, whose mission is to support homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses and diseases, as well as running various youth baseball organizations.
“When you start out you want to hold events and you don’t always have the courage to do it,” said Turner. “But once you do it and see the impact it has on the lives of the kids or families or the homeless veterans, you see how special it is for those individuals and it drives you to want to do more. It’s been awesome to see it grow. It’s become addictive to us." (Gurnick - mlb.com - 9/7/2020)
Oct. 28, 2020: Turner was removed before the eighth inning of Game 6 of the World Series after a test result came back revealing he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nov 6, 2020: Justin Turner issued an apology for his actions after testing positive for COVID-19 during the World Series, and MLB has closed its investigation without taking any disciplinary action.
Turner was notified of his positive test and was removed from the Dodgers’ World Series Game 6 clincher against the Rays. After the game, Turner left isolation, returned to the field to celebrate with his teammates and posed for the team photo without a mask.
Commissioner Rob Manfred wrote that the investigation “helped put in context” Turner’s actions, citing teammates’ encouragement for Turner to join the celebration, on-field miscommunication with officials and MLB’s failure to assign a security detail to assure Turner’s compliance. Manfred also commended Turner’s exemplary conduct prior to the incident.
“With this in mind, I am closing this matter by applauding Justin for accepting responsibility, apologizing and making a commitment to set a positive example going forward,” Manfred wrote.
Turner’s apology included an explanation of his actions during and after the game, including taking responsibility for removing his mask.
“In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife,” Turner wrote. “I sincerely apologize to everyone on the field for failing to appreciate the risks of returning to the field. I have spoken with almost every teammate, coach, and staff member, and my intentions were never to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone at further risk.” (K Gurnick - MLB.com - Nov 6, 2020)
2020 Season: Turner has played seven seasons in Los Angeles and last season hit .307/.400/.460 in 42 games, with nine doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI in 175 plate appearances. He walked 18 times with 26 punchouts. Turner matched his career high with 27 homers in 2019, but he also turned 36 in November.
He had an uneven postseason, going 0-for-8 in the NL Wild-Card Series win over the Milwaukee Brewers and was 2-for-10 with three RBI against the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.
But he hit .280/.379/.480 in 29 plate appearances, scoring six runs and hitting a solo homer, in the NLCS victory over the Atlanta Braves and notched a .320/.346/.720 slash line against the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, stroking four doubles and a pair of solo homers while scoring five times. (Phil Watson - Jan. 21, 2021)
June 2006: The Reds chose Turner in the 7th round, out of Cal State-Fullerton. He signed for a bonus of $50,000. Mike Misuraca is the scout who signed him.
December 9, 2008: The Orioles sent C Ramon Hernandez and cash to the Reds; acquiring Turner, INF/OF Ryan Freel, and INF Brandon Waring from Cincinnati.
May 25, 2010: The Mets claimed Turner off waivers from the Orioles.
February 5, 2014: The Dodgers signed Turner to a Minor League contract.
January 15, 2016: The Dodgers and Turner avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal for $5.1 million.
Nov 3, 2016: Turner elected free agency.
Dec 23, 2016: The Dodgers signed free agent Turner to a four-year contract for $64 million.
Oct 28, 2020: Justin elected free agency.
- Feb. 15, 2021: The Dodgers brought back popular third baseman Justin Turner, signing the free agent to a two-year, $34 million contract with a club option for 2023. It also includes an $8 million signing bonus.
Turner is a good hitter for batting average. And he does a great job of hitting behind runners. He has a line-drive swing with power to the gaps. He has an inside-out approach instead of using the whole field.
Justin bunts well.
Turner is a clutch hitter. That made him a fan favorite with the Mets in 2011.
Turner has a noticeable leg kick at the plate and his first bobblehead with the Dodgers featured Turner with his front leg high in the air in anticipation of a pitch.
"Always had the leg kick as far as I can remember," he said. "It's something I've always had and use as a timing mechanism."
May 7, 2019: Justin slugged three homers and drove in a career-high 6 runs in a 9-0 Dodgers win over the Braves. “Just got some pitches over the plate and put good swings and didn’t miss them—finally,” joked Turner.
Turner got the scoring started with a solo homer in a three-run first inning off lefty Max Fried. He singled in a run in the second inning, homered leading off the fifth, and capped a four-run eighth with a three-run homer. (Gurnick - mlb.com)
June 14, 2019: Turner’s hit his 100th career home run.
At the start of the 2020 season, Turner's regular-season stats were solid at .290/.372/.509.
- August 11, 2020: Turner logged his 1,000th career hit in the second inning, a leadoff double to left field off Garrett Richards.
Soon after he cruised into second base, Turner was cheered loudly by his teammates in and around the dugout, an outburst easily heard on the telecast, thanks to a mostly empty ballpark that magnifies sounds normally muffled by crowd noise.
It’s a nice, round number for Turner, who was signed by the Dodgers in 2014 as a non-roster Spring Training invite, with no promises for playing time and no guarantees he’d stick.
Between that Spring Training and his 1,000th hit, Turner has made one All-Star appearance and has played in six postseasons with the Dodgers, including two World Series. He may have been viewed as an unlikely contributor in 2014. But today he’s one of the most popular players among the Dodgers’ sprawling fanbase.
“That's something Justin is and should be very proud of,” manager Dave Roberts said. “A lot of people along the way helped him, but no one more than himself. To reach that 1,000-hit milestone, considering where his career started, that's quite an accomplishment.” (Footer - mlb.com)
The 35-year-old Turner became the first Dodger in two years to reach 1,000 hits. Manny Machado logged his 1,000th career hit while with the Dodgers on Aug. 9, 2018.
Oct 8, 2020: Turner added another Dodgers' record to his resume in a 12-3 victory over the Padres in Game 3 of the NLDS—his 64th postseason base hit.
That hit broke a tie with Steve Garvey for the most in franchise history. Turner’s one-out single drove in Corey Seager for his 38th postseason RBI, extending the franchise record he already held. In 59 postseason games, Turner also has nine home runs and 13 doubles.
“Records are cool,” said Turner. “Championships are better.”
Oct. 24, 2020: Justin's first-inning homer in Game 4 of the World Series was his 12th as a Dodger in the post-season. He passed Dodgers' legend Duke Snider for the most post-season home runs in franchise history.
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Justin had a career Major League batting average of .292; he had 983 hits with 234 doubles, 124 homers, and 495 RBI in 3,521 at-bats.
Justin is a real gamer, making some excellent plays when they're really needed. He displays excellent instincts, which makes up for a lack of tools.
- Justin used to play second base and shortstop. (2016)
- Since 2016, just third base.
- Justin only has average speed, but his excellent instincts on the bases allow him to look better. And he is a very good baserunner.
2003: During the College World Series, Turner was playing for Cal State-Fullerton in his freshman year. He was hit in the face with a pitch, suffering a laceration inside his mouth that produced an alarming amount of blood. It also distracted trainers from what was a more serious injury.
"The worst thing was that I broke my ankle when I went down," Justin said. "I was trying to tell the trainers to look at my ankle, and it wasn't until I was in the emergency room that I was able to convince someone to X-ray it. I didn't have a concussion, though."
June 2008: Turner was on the D.L. for about a week or so with a concussion he suffered during a scary outfield collision. He had some stiffness in his neck.
June 12, 2009: Justin was on the D.L. with a sprained right wrist.
June 2009: Justin was sidelined with a sore wrist, not returning until the last week of June.
March 2010: Turner was sidelined briefly with a badly bruised left foot after being hit by a Garrett Atkins line drive during batting practice. X-rays were negative.
May 29-June 16, 2012: Justin was on the D.L. with a sprained right ankle.
- March 16, 2013: Turner sprained his right ankle while filling in at third base. Catching his spike on the lip of the infield grass as he attempted to corral Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano's infield single, Turner stumbled to the ground and remained there several moments. He eventually limped off under his own power.
An initial examination at Tradition Field revealed a right ankle sprain, which Turner classified as "not too bad." His limp had largely disappeared by the middle innings, even before Turner left the complex for precautionary X-rays at a local hospital.
June 17-July 22, 2013: Justin was on the D.L. with a left intercostal muscle strain. He received an ultrasound-guided cortisone shot.
June 29-July 18, 2014: Turner was on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring. He suffered the injury while running out a double.
July 31-August 13, 2015: Justin was on the D.L. with a right thigh skin infection.
October 22, 2015: Turner had arthroscopic surgery to clean up loose bodies in his left knee.
March 2017: Turner missed a few games after having a lubricating injection into his arthritic right knee.
May 19-June 10, 2017: Turner was on the DL with right hamstring strain.
March 19-May 15, 2018: Turner was on the DL. He suffered a small non-displaced fracture of his left wrist when hit by a Kendall Graveman pitch. He will open the season on the disabled list and be re-examined by local hand specialist, Dr. Brian Shafer, to determine how long he will be sidelined.
July 23, 2018: Justin was on the DL with right groin strain.
May 17, 2019: Turner was relieved when X-rays on his left shin came back negative. He left the 6-0 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park after fouling a ball off his shin in the third inning.
“It swelled up like a baseball was coming out of my shin,” Turner said.
Sept 7, 2019: Turner hasn't played since leaving for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning against the Giants. Initially, he was expected to miss one start, but then he missed the series in Baltimore and the series in New York.
Justin Turner's return to the Dodgers' lineup remains an elusive target. After the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Mets, manager Dave Roberts backtracked from assurances earlier in the day that Turner would return from a sprained left ankle to start in the homestand opener against Tampa Bay.
"Just talked to J.T., and we'll see where he's at," Roberts said. "I know I was aggressive. If he's not 100 percent where he needs to be, I have no problem pushing it back. He's still feeling it. It's an ideal situation to get him in there. If it doesn't happen, there's still plenty of time to get him ready for the postseason. It's still a sprain. Every day he's gotten better."
Sept 18, 2019: Justin Turner has been known to play hurt, and he might be playing hurt in October. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts offered no timetable for his third baseman’s return and said he was “surprised how long it’s taken.”
Turner appeared on the field with a pair of athletic trainers, the ankle appearing heavily taped. He stretched and jogged straight ahead, but did no baseball activity.
Roberts said: “I think it will be more than a couple of games” Turner needs to be ready for the postseason. “We’ll see. We’ll take it day to day.”
Aug 29-Sept 15, 2020: Turner went on the IL after a hamstring injury forced from the 6-2 loss to the Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Turner sustained the leg injury while stealing second base in the seventh inning after tying the game with a two-out RBI single.