All-Star experience a fond memory for Abreu
First baseman selected as a rookie in 2014
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu will remember his first All-Star Game appearance as the last one made by Yankees legend Derek Jeter.
He finished 0-for-1 as a rookie in the 2014 Midsummer Classic at Target Field, but took away greater memories than connecting on an extra-base hit or making a slick play in the field. One of those memories involved a brief chat with Jeter in the clubhouse.
"We didn't spend too much time together, however our lockers were kind of close," said Abreu through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "There was a moment when I asked the clubbie to give a ball to Jeter to get it signed, and then when the clubbie went to Jeter, Jeter came to me and spoke to me in Spanish because he's fluent in Spanish.
"It was a very good experience. He's an outstanding person."
Abreu connected for the only run of Friday's 1-0 victory over the Orioles, driving out his 14th home run of the season and 50th of his career. The White Sox first baseman entered Saturday afternoon's contest hitting .291 with 44 RBIs, putting him in the All-Star picture among first basemen with Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Eric Hosmer and Albert Pujols.
Those other players have slightly better numbers than Abreu and are playing for better teams. Cabrera's injury Friday night opens up another spot for an American League first baseman, but Abreu isn't focused on whether his name is announced Monday as a reserve or even if he ends up as part of the AL Final Vote.
"No, I'm not thinking about the All-Star Game," Abreu said. "If they select me, I'll be glad to represent the team. But if they don't do it, I'm going to be OK. I'm going to spend time with my family in Miami and try to get a little bit of fresh air to come here for the second half of the season."
Chris Sale appears to be a lock for his fourth All-Star selection, but beyond the left-hander, there doesn't appear to be a White Sox certainty. Whether he's chosen or passed over, Abreu will always cherish the memories of his first time.
"I want to thank God for giving me that opportunity because it was a great experience to be around all those superstars, especially Jeter was one of my favorites," Abreu said. "I had the opportunity to share that experience with my family also, which was amazing for me. I think that it was one of the best experiences of my life."