The 2019 BYU baseball team opens its WCC season against Gonzaga tonight at 6 p.m. at Miller Park.
In preparation, here is a look at the best former BYU baseball player at each of the positions around the diamond.
First base - Wally Joyner
Played for BYU: 1981-83
Playing after BYU: Joyner was an All-American at BYU. The Georgia native was drafted in the third round by the Angels after leading the Western Athletic Conference in hitting, breaking eight school records and setting 11 WAC records.
Joyner played 16 years in the Major Leagues with the California and Anaheim Angels (1986-91, 2001), Kansas City Royals (1992-95), San Diego Padres (1996-1999) and the Atlanta Braves (2000). He played in over 2,000 games in the MLB with a career batting average of .289. He hit 204 home runs in his career, drove in 1,106 RBI and stole 60 bases.
Second base - Gary Pullins
Played for BYU: 1967-68
Career after BYU: Pullins coached the Cougars from 1977-2006 and transformed the BYU baseball team into a powerhouse throughout his coaching career. As the seventh head baseball coach at BYU, Pullins ranked 16th among active NCAA Division I baseball coaches with 913 wins upon retirement.
Under Pullins' direction, the Cougars won seven Western Athletic Conference titles and 15 division crowns. He also led the baseball team to the NCAA Regional Tournament nine times.
Shortstop - Cory Snyder
Played for BYU: 1982-84
Career after BYU: At BYU, Snyder never hit below a .416 batting average. He was a three-time All-American for the Cougars. In his very first game with BYU, during his first three at-bats, he hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches.
Snyder played on the silver medal-winning USA baseball team in 1984, and went on to play nine seasons in the majors with five different teams. In his career, Snyder had a .247 batting average, 149 home runs and 488 RBI.
Third base - Vance Law
Played for BYU: 1975-78
Career after BYU: At BYU, Law had a .312 batting average with eight home runs and 98 RBI.
The infielder/outfielder played 14 years of professional baseball, including 10 on the major league level with a career .257 batting average. He started out as a 39th round draft pick and worked his way up with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1978-81), Chicago White Sox (1982-84), Montreal Expos (1985-87), Chicago Cubs (1988-89), and Oakland Athletics (1991).
Outfield - Dane Iorg
Played for BYU: 1969-71
Career after BYU: Few baseball players in BYU history enjoyed the success Iorg had during his three years on the Cougar diamond. A team player, Iorg tore the covers off baseballs year after year while proving a steady hand in the Cougar outfield.
His success culminated in 1971 when he was named First Team All-America. His career batting average was a BYU record for a number of years. At one time, he held five career records. He holds several season records including a tie for most triples in a season-eight, and top batting average--.467. Iorg shares the individual game record for most doubles-three, with his brother Lee among others.
After completing play at BYU, Iorg was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He worked his way through the minors and in 1977 became part of the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1981 he led the Cards with a .327 batting average. In that year's World Series, Iorg batted an incredible .529, grabbing nine hits in 17 trips to the plate.
Outfield - Gary Cooper
Played for BYU: 1983-86
Career after BYU: At BYU, Cooper finished second in NCAA career runs scored (320), fourth in NCAA career hits (349), sixth in NCAA career total bases (612) and set WAC and BYU career records for runs, hits, RBI, stolen bases and walks.
Cooper was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 7th round of the 1986 draft. He played in nine games in 1991, with four hits and a run in his career.
Outfield - Jaycob Brugman
Played for BYU: 2011-13
Career after BYU: At BYU, Brugman hit for a .308 batting average, 22 home runs and 131 RBI. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 17th round with the 521st overall pick. He made his MLB debut in 2017 and played in 48 games. He hit .266 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in Nov. 2017.
Catcher - Brian Banks
Played for BYU: 1990, 1993
Career after BYU: Banks played in the major leagues from 1996-2003. In the majors, he hit for a .246 average with 13 home runs and 64 RBI.
Right-handed pitcher - Jack Morris
Played for BYU: 1975-76
Career after BYU: Morris played 18 years of professional baseball (1997-1994), including 14 with the Detroit Tigers from 1977-1990. Morris was voted the MVP of the 1991 World Series and was selected the Pitcher of the Year that season by The Sporting News. He was a five-time All-Star and also played for the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians.
Morris pitched for four World Series champions, led the Major League twice in victories, was the American League strikeout leader in 1983 and pitched a no-hitter in 1984. He had a 254-186 win-loss record with a 3.90 earned run average and 2,478 strikeouts.
In the summer of 2018, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Left-handed pitcher - Wally Ritchie
Played for BYU: 1984
Career after BYU: Ritchie was drafted in the fourth round in 1985 by the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in 1987-88 and 1991-92 on the Major League level, tallying a 6-5 record with a 3.14 ERA in 177.2 innings.