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Harper and Trout go from farmhands to fame
“I’ll drop a bomb and walk off the field, tell them we own this place,” Harper said. “I promise you I’m going to hit a jack right here. I swear on everything.”
“Yeah, OK,” Mike Trout told him in disbelief.
“Everybody ran inside the clubhouse,” Harper said. “It was a great moment.”
Still tied together, baseball’s youthful dynamic duo will be watched by millions on Tuesday night as the All-Star game returns to Kansas City and beautiful Kauffman Stadium for the first time since 1973.
Just 19, Harper is the youngest position player in All-Star history and a key part of the Washington Nationals’ emergence as a first-place team. Trout, a year older, is leading the American League in hitting and helping the Los Angeles Angels turn around their season after a sloppy start.
Coincidentally, both came up to the majors leagues on April 28, Harper for his debut and Trout for his return following a pair of stints last year. They are among a record five rookie All-Stars, joined by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish, Oakland closer Ryan Cook and Arizona pitcher Wade Miley.
“Speed. Power. Excitement. Youth. Energy,” Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson said. “If they are able to stay healthy, they can completely transform the game as they get, five, 10, 15 years of big league time.”
For now, both will start Tuesday night’s game on the bench.
With the result determining home-field advantage in the World Series for the 10th straight year, the AL manager Ron Washington will start reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. The NL’s Tony La Russa, the first inactive All-Star manager since the AL’s Bob Lemon in 1979, chose San Francisco’s Matt Cain _ coming off a perfect game last month _ over knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets.
“Knowing he was getting called up that same day was pretty funny,” Trout said.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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