Old-Timers find room in young man’s All-Star game

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That said, Johnson sees a spot for players slightly beyond rookie status.

“It’s good to have veteran leadership, to be able to show the younger players how to do it on and off the field, especially on the road,” he said. “But that leadership means a player still has to be producing.”

For some former All-Star perennials _ Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez _ it remains to be seen whether they can make a contribution in the majors in the second half.

At 21, Machado soaked up the camaraderie in the AL clubhouse.

“Just seeing these guys, they’re in their 10th, 11th All-Star game and they’re still here enjoying it like it’s their first one. It’s something that, you know, you learn from that. You take it into consideration and enjoy every moment of it,” the Baltimore third baseman said.

“It’s been awesome, showing up here and seeing all the guys this morning … kind of hit me, `Wow, you’re here in the All-Star game,” he said. “When you walk into the locker room, you see all these future Hall of Famers in there next to your locker, you’ve just got to step back and take a breath and just enjoy every moment of it.”

Harper readily compliments those who came before him.

“Pete Rose, George Brett, Mickey Mantle, they all helped make the game what it is,” he said.

As for his earlier All-Star memory, Harper pointed to Cal Ripken’s home run in 2001 in his final appearance in the Midsummer Classic.

“I’m not even sure I was born when that happened,” Harper said, laughing. “But I’ve seen it a lot on the highlights over the years.”

The year after the Ripken homer, Hunter punctuated his first All-Star appearance by climbing the wall at Miller Park and robbing Bonds of a home run. Bonds playfully hoisted Hunter over his shoulder after the grab.

Whatever happens Tuesday night _ a record 39 players are first-time selections _ and beyond, Hunter had a piece of advice for newcomers and vets alike.

“Savor it,” he said. “The years go by in a blur. You think it’s going to last forever and then, just like that, it’s gone.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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