Justin Turner was born Nov. 23, 1984, who attended Mayfair High School before playing at California State University, Fullerton. His professional career took several twists before returning to Southern California by signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014.
Turner played his way to becoming the starting second baseman for the Titans and earned freshman All-American honors from Baseball America in 2003. Indicative of his versatility, Turner was named to the 2003 College World Series All-Tournament team.
Turner and the Titans won the CWS the following year, and he spurned the New York Yankees in 2005 when they selected him in the 29th round of the MLB Draft. Turner then was drafted in the seventh round the next year by the Cincinnati Reds.
Minor League career
Turner reported to Rookie-level Billings, where he batted .338/.411/.511 with 16 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 41 RBI. Turner was named a Rookie All-Star by Baseball America and regularly proved to be a productive hitter throughout his Minor League career.
He earned midseason All-Star honors in 2006, and was recognized as a post-season All-Star in both 2006 and ’07.
Turner made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009 but was designated for assignment the following May. He appeared in parts of four seasons with the New York Mets, only to be non-tendered following the 2013 campaign.
Being thrust into the uncertainty of free agency wound up proving to be a stroke good fortune. Turner signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers prior to the start of Spring Training and filled a super utility role in 2014.
Turner became a regular at third base the following season and assume the role on a full-time basis upon the Dodgers trading Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves in May 2015. Turner appeared in a career-high 151 games in 2016 and re-signed with the Dodgers on a four-year contract that winter.
Turner’s emergence continued as he earned a first career All-Star Game selection in 2017. He shattered the now-defunct MLB Final Vote record and finished the season with a career-best .945 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Turner received MVP votes for a third consecutive year in 2018, and was a stalwart for manager Dave Roberts in 2019.
His steady presence in the lineup and clubhouse has regularly carried into October. Turner earned co-National League Championship Series MVP honors with Chris Taylor as he helped lead the Dodgers to their first World Series appearance since 1988.
Justin Turner Foundation
For all his importance on the field, Turner has been just as instrumental and impactful in the local community. The Justin Turner Foundation was founded in 2016, and is run along with his wife Kourtney.
The Turners regularly work with The Dream Center to provide for those in need, and have been recognized by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and on Jan. 22, 2019, the L.A. City Council declared it “Justin Turner Day” in honor of his charitable deeds.