Wigginton named to first All-Star Game
Versatile veteran will be O's lone representative in Anaheim
BOSTON -- This spring, utilityman Ty Wigginton wasn't even sure he had would have a job with the Orioles. Now, the 32-year-old veteran is headed to his first career All-Star Game.
Wigginton was selected as an American League reserve on Sunday afternoon and will be the lone O's representative at the 2010 Midsummer Classic on July 13 in Anaheim. It marks the fifth straight year the O's have had just one player selected, and it's the first time Wigginton will be present at the All-Star Game since he watched the from the stands in San Diego as a kid.
"I haven't had time to process it," said a stunned Wigginton, a former 17th-round Draft pick who came up with the Mets. "I haven't thought about [being an All-Star] at all. I'm just thrilled to be able to put on a Major League uniform every day."
He did much more than that this season in Baltimore. Thrust into an everyday infield role with Brian Roberts injured and Garrett Atkins ineffective, Wigginton has enjoyed a resurgent year and enters Monday's series in Detroit batting .246 with a team-leading 14 homers and 43 RBIs.
"As we all know in Spring Training, we didn't even know if Wiggy was going to be on the club," said interim manager Juan Samuel, who was a three-time All-Star as a player.
"Just look what happened. Brian got hurt and he got a chance to play. If you could imagine us without Wiggy's numbers the first few months of the season, where would we have been? He was the guy carrying the club. It was really nice to see. He deserves it; he's been a model guy for us."
Wigginton said the closest he's come to consideration previously was in 2006 with the Rays. He finished that season with 24 homers and 79 RBIs and is on track to eclipse both those marks this year.
"I knew I'd get an opportunity to get in there every day, and I felt when I got that opportunity, I had to take advantage of it," Wigginton said. "And I did that early."
Wigginton has struggled lately -- with one hit in his past 28 at-bats -- but his hot start and versatility won out. Samuel said Wigginton's ability to play second probably helped his chances, and conversely, the wealth of All-Star outfielders hurt right fielder Nick Markakis. With Boston's second baseman Dustin Pedroia injured, Texas' Ian Kinsler is the only second-base reserve other than Wigginton.
Fans, having already decided the starters and this week the final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.