Seven Venezuelan players have been selected to participate in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, which begins Tuesday in Kansas City. This is a record number for the country, which had six All-Stars in 2004.
The group that will debut today at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City includes basemen Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval, pitcher Félix Hernández and shortstops Asdrúbal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus. Two young players, Carlos González and José Altuve, are debuting in this year’s Midsummer Classic.
“We’re not just representing a team and a league, but also the country,” said Carlos González, the Colorado Rockies outfielder and designated hitter for the National League. “As time goes by, Venezuela is coming up in baseball.”
“From a young age, one always wants to represent the country, and now the opportunity you dreamed of is becoming a reality,” he said.
The Associated Press reported that “For the third time in history two Venezuelans will be headliners. Apart from González as the leader of the offensive line of the [National League] team managed by Tony La Russa, the Senior Circuit also has Sandoval, third baseman of the San Francisco Giants.”
The Venezuelan players in the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston were Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Víctor Martínez, Francisco Rodríguez, Carlos Guillén and Carlos Zambrano.
The All-Star Game’s MVP will be determined through a vote by fans, while the pitchers and reserve players are chosen by the managers of the last World Series.
Cabrera a Seven-Time All-Star
According to Noticias de Venezuela, this year marks the seventh All-Star appearance for Miguel Cabrera.
“The Detroiter received his seventh call to the All-Stars and is just third in the list of Venezuelans historically. First is Luis Aparicio with 13 appearances, and second is David Concepción with nine,” the newspaper reported.
“I’m not conscious of trying to beat anyone, of who has the most All-Stars,” Cabrera said. “What is important to me is experience. I think that our baseball has advanced enormously, each day there are better players. I hope it’s not just seven, but that there will be more opportunities,” Cabrera told the AP.
“To talk about Aparicio and Concepción is to talk about shortstops, and the country will have Elvis Andrus and Asdrúbal Cabrera this year. Both will be participating in the July game for the second time… and in the case of Cabrera, it’s his second consecutive game,” reported Noticias de Venezuela.
AP / Noticias de Venezuela / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / July 10, 2012