For the first time in history, two Minnesota-raised Twins will attend Major League Baseball's annual All-Star game.
Sure, Joe Mauer was shoe-in, always among the top vote-getters, earning his fourth All-Star start in six appearances. But Glen Perkins squeaked in among pitchers, deservedly so, to join his former little league rival/teammate at Citi Field in New York on June 16.
“Good story,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire tells the Star Tribune. “Two Minnesota kids.”
It will be the first time that two Twins players with local ties were on the same All-Star team, the paper says, with Mauer from St. Paul and Perkins, a former Gopher, from Stillwater.
Perkins has notched 20 saves and holds a 1.93 ERA in the course of 33 appearances this season (32 2/3 innings pitched), but only ranks seventh in the "saves" category. Still, Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who will run the AL team, personally named Perkins to the All-Star team, the Strib says.
Fox Sports North notes that Perkins hasn't allowed a run against the Tigers this season.
Mauer tells MLB.com that he first met Perkins when they were about 12 years old, and they really got to know each other when they were both selected to the Metro East Lions All-Star team as high school seniors in 2001.
Yes, Mauer deserves the starting nod: He has 100 hits so far, is batting .314 with eight home runs and 30 RBI, 33 extra base hits and 49 runs scored. He leads AL catchers in batting average, on-base percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Reports are that Perkins replaced former Twin Jesse Crain on the AL roster due to injury.
Of course, there are plenty of former Twins on both rosters, in addition to Crain: David Ortiz, J.J. Hardy, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and Carlos Gomez all earned All-Star spots.