MIAMI -- A whirlwind two days at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was capped off with a big night for A's first baseman Yonder Alonso.The lone A's representative at Marlins Park, Alonso went 2-for-2 with two singles, a stolen base and a clean night of defense as
MIAMI -- A whirlwind two days at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was capped off with a big night for A's first baseman Yonder Alonso.
The lone A's representative at Marlins Park, Alonso went 2-for-2 with two singles, a stolen base and a clean night of defense as the American League beat the National League, 2-1, in 10 innings.
"It lived up to even more than the expectations because I'm numb," Alonso said of his first All-Star Game. "I know if I'm numb, the expectations were incredible.
"In the anthem, I had some tears, that's for sure. I looked at my dad and he had some tears running down."
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Alonso entered the game as a defensive replacement at first base in the fourth and hit a single to right in the sixth inning off of D-backs starter Zack Greinke. In the ninth, Alonso roped the first pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to right for his second hit of the night and proceeded to steal second. Then, in the next at-bat, Alonso stole second base, beating the throw from Cardinals catcher and eight-time Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina. He advanced to third on a balk by Jansen before White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia struck out to end the inning.
"I went there in the ninth just trying to do something," Alonso said. "I got a base hit and I told [AL first-base coach] Sandy Alomar, one of the best, 'Hey, you think I can go here?' And he said, 'Yes, go for it, have fun.' So I took a shot. I knew it was Molina behind the plate. With no outs, it's kind of risky, but I just wanted to get into scoring position. We didn't get it in, but I got close."
Alonso is the fifth player in A's history to have multiple hits in an All-Star Game, and the first since Rickey Henderson in 1982. The other A's are Jimmie Foxx ('34 and '35 for Philadelphia), Reggie Jackson ('72) and Bert Campaneris ('75). Alonso and Henderson are the only A's to notch multiple hits and steal a base. It caps off a stellar first half for the 30-year-old, who hit a career-high 20 homers and batted .275 with 43 RBIs.
"It's a humbling experience, to be a part of those guys," Alonso said. "I've never had those plays or I'm not that player, but just to be a part of that and have the opportunity to be in something like that means a lot."
Alonso had many experiences growing up where Marlins Park currently sits, going to Miami Hurricanes football games on the site when the Orange Bowl was still around and cleaning offices about three miles away. For him, being a part of the Red Carpet parade on Biscayne Boulevard was a big Miami moment for him.
"I don't think people really understand that Biscayne Boulevard never gets closed down unless either the Heat or Marlins won that year," Alonso said, vividly recalling when his parents allowed him to skip school for the Marlins' parade after their World Series title in 2003. "That's nuts. I was very, 'Woah, I can't believe I'm doing this right now. This is so cool.'"
Alonso set out 60 tickets for his family at the Midsummer Classic, including one for his brother-in-law, Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado, who wore Alonso's All-Star jersey. He's made sure he documents all of the experiences at his first All-Star Game in his hometown.
"It's been fun, it's been nuts," Alonso said. "A little calm in the morning, but now it's getting a little bit crazy, it's hectic. It's a lot of fun. [I'm] trying to do my snaps and make sure I take video and try not to forget any of it. It's been a lot of fun."
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.