OTTAWA, ON – For the first time in Major League history, three Canadians have been selected to participate in the MLB All-Star Game, which will take place on July 15 at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs, Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins are the three Canadians who will make their way to New York. Each player is heading to their second All-Star appearance.
Dempster of Gibsons, BC will be making his first All-Star appearance since 2000 when he was a member of the Florida Marlins. The right-handed pitcher in 9-3 so far this season with a 3.24 ERA in 18 starts.
“It will be awesome to get back there again,” says Dempster in an interview with MLB.com. “For everything I’ve been through, to make the All-Star team, what a thrill that would be, and at Yankee Stadium with all the festivities. It’ll be one of the greatest All-Star Games ever. It would mean a lot.”
Martin of Chelsea, Québec will be making his second consecutive All-Star appearance after being voted in as a starter the previous year for the National League.
The 25-year-old catcher is hitting .306 with nine home runs, 17 doubles and 42 RBI so far this season.
“I was nervous last year, my first time at an All-Star Game,” admitted Martin to MLB.com. “This year, it’ll be more relaxing and I’ll enjoy it more. I’ve never played at Yankee Stadium and I’m fortunate to there. A lot of guys will never have the opportunity.”
For Morneau, this is also his second consecutive appearance at the All-Star Game after the New Westminster, BC native was voted in as a starter for the American League in 2007.
The 2006 AL MVP is hitting .307 with 12 homers so far this year. His 65 RBI is second in the AL behind Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.
“It’s pretty special, being the last one at Yankee Stadium,” says Morneau to MLB.com. “It was kind of a goal I set at the start of the year, to be playing well enough to be named to that All-Star team. So to get there… is exciting.”
Larry Walker holds the Canadian record for All-Star appearances with five. Ferguson Jenkins and Eric Gagne follow with three appearances each while Jason Bay, Jeff Heath and George Selkirk have each earned two All-Star nods.