FORT MYERS, Fla. – Nineteen Perfect Game alumni have been named to one of the two rosters at Tuesday night’s 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix. The number represents nearly 25 percent of the 82 players who have gone on and off the Mid-Summer Classic’s rosters in the last few days.
Twelve of the Perfect Game alumni will be on San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy’s National League roster, with the other seven on Texas Rangers Manager Ron Washington’s American League squad (as of Monday morning).
Among the PG alumni who will be Phoenix Tuesday is Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, a native of Norwalk, Iowa, who becomes the first All-Star to have played in the Perfect Game Iowa Fall and Spring Wood Bat Leagues.
Hanrahan played in the Fall League in 1999 and the Spring League in 2000, and also participated in the 1999 and 2000 PG Pre-Draft Showcases in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was also at the 1999 PG WWBA World Championship here in Fort Myers.
He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 2000 draft and made his Major League debut with the Washington Nationals in 2007. The website baseball-reference.com reported that Hanrahan is the first Iowa native to be named to an All-Star team since Council Bluffs’ Jon Lieber in 2001.
“The first thing I did was call my girlfriend,” Hanrahan told The Des Moines Register after his selection was announced. “She was on her way back to Pittsburgh from Washington and she was anxiously awaiting the call. After that, I call my mom and dad and my brother, but I didn’t get to talk to them long because we had a game.”
Hanrahan has converted all 26 of his save opportunities for the Pirates this season, a Major League best. He originally arrived in the big leagues as a starter, and the Nationals converted him to a closer in 2008.
“I’m not really worried about anything other than putting up a zero every time I take the mound,” Hanrahan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise on July 8. “The records, the saves the awards – all of that stuff is nice, but it isn’t my top goal.
“I just want to do my job, help this team win, so every day I come to the ballpark and I know that, if they are going to call my number, it means they need me to go out and shut the other team out.”
The other Perfect Game alumni joining Hanrahan on the National League roster are:
Jay Bruce, Reds; Matt Cain, Giants; Tyler Clippard, Nationals; Prince Fielder, Brewers; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Brian McCann, Braves; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates; Gaby Sanchez, Marlins; Justin Upton, Diamondbacks; Jonny Venters, Braves, and Joey Votto, Reds.
Perfect Game alumni on the American League roster are:
Alex Avila, Tigers; Gio Gonzalez, Athletics; Matt Joyce, Rays; Chris Perez, Indians; David Price, Rays; Jordan Walden, Angels, and Matt Wieters, Orioles.
Price was taken off the AL roster on Sunday with turf-toe.
The NL’s Upton was an Aflac All-American in 2004 and performed at the Perfect Game National Showcase in 2003 and ’04. The AL’s Gonzalez, McCutchen and Walden were Aflac All-Americans in ’03, ’04 and ’05, respectively.
Like Upton, Fielder (2001), Votto (2001), Venters (2002) and McCutchen (2004) attended the PG National Showcase. Like Hanrahan, McCann (2002) and Clippard (2003) were at the PG National Pre-Draft Showcase in Cedar Rapids.