By Bill Arnold
BACK IN THE HIGH LIFE
Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox was named to the American League All-Star team as a reserve outfielder on July 1, his second selection to the "Midsummer Classic" and his first since 2002. Dunn, who is a designated hitter and first baseman for the Sox, has rebounded from a dismal 2011 to land among the league leaders in homers this season with 25 through Thursday. The 10-year gap in Dunn's All-Star resume puts him in select company: he is only the fourth position player to go 10 years or more between All-Star selections. Pitcher Bert Blyleven endured the longest All-Star hiatus going 12 years, from 1973 to 1985, between selections. The 10 players who returned to the All-Star Game after an absence of 10 years or more were:
Player Pos. Selection Selection Years
Bert Blyleven P 1973 (A.L.) 1985 (A.L.) 12
Schoolboy Rowe P 1936 (A.L.) 1947 (N.L.) 11
Darrell Evans 3B-1B 1973 (N.L.) 1983 (N.L.) 10
Tommy John P 1968 (A.L.) 1978 (N.L.) 10
Rick Monday OF 1968 (A.L.) 1978 (N.L.) 10
Rick Reuschel P 1977 (N.L.) 1987 (N.L.) 10
Rick Rhoden P 1976 (N.L.) 1986 (N.L.) 10
Bob Welch P 1980 (N.L.) 1990 (A.L.) 10
Benito Santiago C 1992 (N.L.) 2002 (N.L.) 10
Adam Dunn DH/1B 2002 (N.L.) 2012 (A.L.) 10
AROUND THE HORN
… R.A. Dickey of the Mets and Fernando Rodney of the Rays will be first-time All Stars at the ages of 37 years and 255 days, and 35 years and 114 days, respectively, when the game is played next Tuesday. Among active players, Dickey is the second-oldest first-timer behind Jamie Moyer (2003, 40 years and 239 days of age) and Rodney is the fifth-oldest behind Moyer, Dickey, Takashi Saito (2007, 37.146) and Raul Ibanez (2009, 37.042).
… If Angels ace Jered Weaver is named the A.L. starter for the "Midsummer Classic" next Tuesday, he would be just the seventh pitcher to start the game for the Junior Circuit in at least two consecutive seasons joining Lefty Gomez (1933-35), Red Ruffing (1939-40), Billy Pierce (1955-56), Whitey Ford (1960-61), Jim Palmer (1977-78) and Dave Stieb (1983-84).
… When Ichiro Suzuki (RF), Munenori Kawasaki (2B) and Hisashi Iwakuma (P) started Monday's game for the Mariners, it was the first time in major-league history that three Japanese-born players were in one team's starting lineup.
… Reds outfield prospect Billy Hamilton, who plays for the Bakersfield Blaze in the Single-A California League, has already stolen 103 bases in his team's first 85 games this season; the minor-league record since 1962 for most thefts was set by Vince Coleman who swiped 145 bases for the Macon Redbirds of the South Atlantic League in 1983.
… Wade Miley of the Astros became the first rookie pitcher selected to the N.L. All-Star team since Dontrelle Willis, then with the Marlins, in 2003.
… Chipper Jones registered five hits in a game on Tuesday becoming only the 10th big-leaguer since 1918 to get five knocks in a contest after turning 40; Pete Rose was the oldest to post a five-hit effort when he did so for the 1986 Reds at the age of 45 years and 119 days.
… Both Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter of the Yankees were elected by the fans to start the All-Star Game at second and short, they join the Reds' Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion (1975-77) as the only up-the-middle pair of teammates elected to start in three straight "Classics."
… Cardinal slugger Carlos Beltran joined Roberto Alomar, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Jose Cruz, Carlos Delgado, Ivan Rodriguez, Ruben Sierra and Bernie Williams as the only Puerto Rican-born players to garner 2,000 career hits in the majors; Beltran reached the milestone on June 29 against the Pirates.
… After grabbing a walk-off victory against the Red Sox on Tuesday, the A's lead the A.L. with six walk-off wins while the Red Sox have the most walk-off losses in the league with five.
… Through Thursday, the Mariners had the lowest home batting average in the majors at .195; since 1921, the lowest home average over a full season was .208 posted by the 1967 White Sox.
… Rookie starter Wei-Yin Chen of the Orioles became the fourth pitcher this year to have a perfect game through six innings, on Tuesday, when he retired every batter he faced until Casper Wells of the Mariners homered off him with one out in the seventh; Chen joins Matt Cain (Giants) and Phil Humber (White Sox) who each threw perfect games and Ervin Santana (Angels) who lost his perfecto bid with two out in the seventh.
… Eric Chavez has six homers this season with the Yankees, more than his combined total over the previous four seasons.
… This is the first season since 2007 that the Red Sox have had just one All-Star selection.
… Brewers pitcher Zach Greinke has a 1.04 ERA in his nine wins this season but, in his eight other starts, he has a 5.70 mark.
… Blue Jay slugger Jose Bautista joined Babe Ruth (1930), Jackie Jensen (1958), Roger Maris (1960-61) and Reggie Jackson (1969) as the only A.L. players to hit at least 14 homers and drive in at least 30 runs in the month of June.
… Starlin Castro is the first Cubs shortstop since Don Kessinger (1968-72) to be named to the N.L. All-Star team in consecutive seasons.
… The Braves have now lost 15 consecutive Monday games, a streak that goes back to their last Monday win on August 22, 2011; it’s the longest string of winless Mondays for a big-league team since the Orioles lost 20 straight on the day in 2009-2010.
… On Monday, Alexi Amirista became the 341st Padre player to fall short of a cycle by one hit (in his case, a triple); no Padres player has hit for a cycle since the team's inception in 1969.
… It's not what usually comes to mind as a freeway series but the Mariners and Red Sox are connected by a single interstate: I-90 stretches from Edgar Martinez Drive near Safeco Field in Seattle to the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, a span of nearly 3,102 miles.
… If Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies ends the season leading the N.L. in batting, he would become the first N.L. catcher to win the title since Ernie Lombardi in 1942; through Thursday, Ruiz was hitting .355 and was third to the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen at .356.
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Copyright 2012, Sports Features Group