They gave a 30-second standing ovation when Selig announced the All-Star choice. The videoboards on the field lit up with the news.
“It’s only fitting that we get it here very quickly,” Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan said. “One of the things I missed in my career _ I didn’t miss much _ I never got a chance to play an All-Star game in the city I was playing in. Brandon and Jay, you guys will get that opportunity. And Dusty, you’ll get a chance to manage.”
Baker returns this season on a two-year deal. He would manage the NL All-Star team if the Reds won the league title in 2014.
Bruce and Phillips have each played in two All-Star games. They heard Morgan talk about what he missed as a player and started thinking about what it would be like to be introduced as an All-Star in their ballpark.
“It would be nice,” Phillips said. “If I’m not starting, then I have a problem. That’s just how I look at it. To bring the game here, it’s nice for the city more than the players. To hear Joe say he never played (an All-Star game) in Cincinnati _ maybe I can say I did.”
Mayor Mark Mallory, who holds a special place in baseball blooper lore, noted that he started pushing to get an All-Star game in 2003. He said that Selig awarded it despite his opening day gaffe in 2007, when the major’s ceremonial pitch stuck in his hand and bounded up the first base line.
The toss is shown in video collections of worst ceremonial pitches.
Selig also announced that Major League Baseball was donating $1.5 million toward an urban youth academy in the city. It’ll be baseball’s seventh such academy, the first in the Midwest. It provides free instruction in baseball and softball, and has educational programs.
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay
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