MIAMI — One item that was a bit of a feel-good story on Tuesday night during the MLB All-Star Game was the performance of Yonder Alonso.
The lone representative of the Oakland Athletics, Alonso was one of the many unlikely All-Stars. He came into the season a career .269/.334/.387 hitter with just 39 home runs in 664 games. His career high for home runs in a season was nine. This year, Alonso is hitting .275/.372/.562 with 20 homers already.
So he’s already a good story, but there’s more.
Alonso was born in Cuba and we know about the large Cuban-born population in South Florida. Alonso was raised in Miami. He went to Coral Gables High School and then the University of Miami. I mean, this guy couldn’t possibly be more Miami.
During the media session on Monday at Marlins Park, Alonso told reporters he really wanted to do something well during the game and the feeling was heightened since it was in Miami. It was extra special to him.
In the sixth inning, Alonso got his first-ever All-Star at-bat and he singled off Zack Greinke. Here was Alonso’s reaction in the direction of his family on the stands:
In the ninth, Alonso would single off Kenley Jansen. Bear in mind, Jansen has held opposing hitters to a .143 average this season. Also of note, Alonso only has one stolen base all year. I bring that up because this happened next:
Look at that! Alonso totally took that off Jansen. He noticed after just one pitch that he could almost walk to second and got himself — the go-ahead run at the time — into scoring position.
It’s too bad he didn’t score, because Alonso surely would’ve been the MVP in that case and what a story that would’ve been.
He’s a good story anyway, though. Good for Yonder Alonso. He had a fun night to watch, given the background.