By Bill Arnold
The rosters for the 2012 All-Star Game will be announced on Sunday and Mike Trout and Bryce Harper could be on the lists. If either Trout of the Los Angeles Angels or Harper of the Washington Nationals is chosen, he would become the 20th player selected to a "Midsummer Classic" before turning 21. Harper, considered an All-Star long shot, would become the third youngest player (at 19 years and 267 days) selected behind Dwight Gooden (19.236 in 1984) and Bob Feller (19.245 in 1938). Both Gooden and Feller were selected twice before turning 21. Trout (20.337) has a better chance since, through Wednesday, he led the A.L. in batting and stolen bases despite a late April call-up. Neither player is on the ballot, so they need their peers (in the vote by players, coaches and managers) or the All-Star skippers (Tony La Russa for the N.L. and Ron Washington for the A.L.) to consider them worthy of inclusion. The 19 players selected to a major-league All-Star team before turning 21 were (* - rookie; # - two All-Star Games that season, age is listed for first game; ages in years and days):
Player Year Pos. Age
Dwight Gooden* 1984 P 19.234
Bob Feller 1938 P 19.245
Jim "Catfish" Hunter 1966 P 20.096
Butch Wynegar* 1976 C 20.121
Jerry Walker# 1959 P 20.145
Al Kaline 1955 OF 20.205
Johnny Bench* 1968 C 20.214
Ivan Rodriguez 1992 C 20.229
Ken Griffey, Jr. 1990 OF 20.231
Dwight Gooden 1985 P 20.234
Ed Kranepool 1965 1B 20.247
Bob Feller 1939 P 20.250
Mickey Mantle 1952 OF 20.261
Fernando Valenzuela* 1981 P 20.281
Claudell Washington 1975 OF 20.318
Vada Pinson*# 1959 OF 20.330
Frank Robinson* 1956 OF 20.331
Jason Heyward* 2010 OF 20.338
Alex Rodriguez 1996 SS 20.347
The financial success of the movie "Moneyball" has spurred production of three new baseball movies, a genre with a reputation for producing few moneymakers. The documentary "Knuckleball," after getting excellent reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival, will be released in September. The feature "42," about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the majors, is currently in production with Harrison Ford playing Brooklyn Dodger GM Branch Rickey and is scheduled for release on April 12, 2013. The third production, still in the talking stages, would detail the life of Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton with Casey Affleck set to write and direct.
AROUND THE HORN
… In a span of 32 days (from May 27 to June 28), the Giants came from seven-and-a-half games back to take a one game lead over the Dodgers in the N.L. West.
… Kevin Youkilis, who was traded to the White Sox last weekend, is one of only five Red Sox players (the others are Duffy Lewis, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Tris Speaker) who played at least eight seasons, batted .287 or better and won two World Series with the club.
… On Monday night, Mets reliever Jon Rauch joined Slim Love of the 1916 Yankees as the only major-leaguers since 1900 to give up four runs (all unearned) on zero hits and no more than one walk in a third of an inning.
… Andruw Jones homered in his 42nd different ballpark on June 22 when he clocked one at Citi Field in New York; the Yankee outfielder could surpass Sammy Sosa's record of dingers in 45 different major-league venues since he has yet to homer in five (Comerica Park in Detroit, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Marlins Park in Miami, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and Progressive Field in Cleveland).
… In the series between the Giants and A's last weekend, the two teams combined to use 29 pitchers who delivered 1,022 pitches in three nine-inning games clocked at 3:35, 4:15 and 2:51.
… Knuckleballers are notoriously wild but R.A. Dickey of the Mets went 103 innings this season before uncorking his first wild pitch of the season, an errant toss in the fifth inning of a game on June 24.
… On June 17, Everth Cabrera of the Padres joined Omar Vizquel (Indians, 1999) as the only big-league shortstops since 1947 to start 6-5 force-outs on successive plays; Cabrera initiated the plays in the fourth inning of a game against the A's.
… Astros second baseman Jose Altuve equaled Freddie Patek for most homers in a season since 1980 by a player 5'5" or shorter when he hit his fifth dinger of the campaign on June 23.
… The University of Arizona joined Texas (1949) and LSU (1991) as the only teams to win the College World Series without trailing in a single game they played in the tournament.
… The Brewers and White Sox played the fastest extra-inning game this season when they went 10 innings in 2:22; it was also the quickest game played by the Brewers this year.
… The fifth-place Phillies need to go 54-30 (a .643 winning percentage) the rest of year to finish with 90 wins.
… Ranger pitchers led the majors, through Thursday, with 12 walk-less games this season.
… The A.L. bested the N.L. in interleague play for the ninth straight year going 142-110 this season.
… Rickie Weeks of the Brewers was hit by a pitch for the 100th time in his career on June 23 joining Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Reed Johnson, Carlos Quentin, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen and Chase Utley as the only active big-leaguers plunked at least 100 times.
… When CC Sabathia faced off against R.A. Dickey on June 24, it was just the seventh match-up since 1918 of pitchers using initials rather than first names: Dickey faced J.A. Happ in 2011, A.J. Burnett met C.J. Wilson in 2010, Wilson met Sabathia in 2010, J.P. Howell opposed Sabathia in 2007, Burnett met Sabathia in 2007 and D.A. Houlton faced off against Burnett in 2005.
… Jose Quintana is the fourth Colombian pitcher to play in the majors; the White Sox starter joins Ernesto Frieri of the Angels, Julio Teheran of the Braves and Emiliano Fruto who pitched for the Mariners in 2006.
… On June 23, Rays infielder Jeff Keppinger joined B.J. Upton (2009) and Troy Tulowitzki (2008) as the only major-leaguers in the last 30 years to garner five hits in their first game back from the D.L.
… Through Thursday, Royal reliever Kelvin Herrera led all rookie pitchers in the bigs having appeared in 35 games this year; A's reliever Ryan Cook was second with 33 appearances.
… The Indians were 23-2, through Thursday, in games in which both setup man Vinnie Pestano and closer Chris Perez have appeared.
… Carlos Marmol joined Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Randy Myers as the only Cub closers to record 100 or more saves with the team; Marmol notched number 100 on Tuesday.
… Jim Thome set a major-league record for walk-off homers when he hit the 13th of his career on June 23 against the Rays; the Phillie slugger also joined Johnny Damon and Carlos Pena as the only active big-leaguers to have hit walk-off bombs for four different teams.
… Mike Trout joined Jose Cardenal (1965), Jerry Remy (1975), Mark McLemore (1987) and Devon White (1987) as the only Angel players to swipe 20 or more bases before the All-Star Break.
… The Royals seem to be leading the majors in Tommy John surgeries; so far this season, Royal hurlers Felipe Paulino, Joakim Soria, Danny Duffy and Blake Wood have all sustained injuries requiring they undergo the procedure.
… Jason Vargas and Erasmo Ramirez became the first Mariner pitchers to strike out 10 or more batters in successive games since Paul Abbott and Freddie Garcia in August 1999; Ramirez and Vargas got 10 K's apiece on Monday and Tuesday against the A's.
… It seems fitting, notes Doug Miller of MLB.com, that pitcher Mike Hamburger was claimed off waivers by the Padres this week; the team was once owned by Ray Kroc who helped found McDonalds.
… On Tuesday, Twins rookie Tyler Robertson joined Edwar Ramirez (2007), Jordan De Jong (2007), Todd Wellemeyer (2003), Jeremy Fikac (2001), Braden Looper (1998), Angelo LiPetri (1956) and Paul Giel (1954) as the only pitchers since 1918 to throw one inning in relief in their MLB debut and strike out the side in order.
… The Padres have already used 13 different starting pitchers this season; the record for most starters used in a big-league campaign is 24 set by the 1915 A's.
… After suffering three straight shutouts at the hands of the Giants for the first time in the rivalry's 123-year history, the Dodgers endured a final indignity on their way out of San Francisco when one of their equipment trucks broke down on the way to the airport and had to be off-loaded in the midst of rush hour traffic.
Other writers and sources contribute to Beyond the Box Score
Copyright 2012, Sports Features Group
Editor's Note: Bill Arnold lives in San Mateo County