Former Bears MLB All-Stars
Major League Baseball has announced the rosters for the 83rd All-Star Game and five former Yakima Bears players have been selected. Second baseman Dan Uggla (Atlanta) is the lone starter, while pitchers Ryan Cook (Oakland) and Wade Miley (Arizona) will likely come out of the bullpen, and reserves Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox) and Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado) would be available on the bench.
Dan Uggla was with the Bears in 2001 for his first professional season after being drafted by the D-backs in the 11th round. That season Uggla was named a Northwest League All-Star after hitting .277 with 21 doubles in 72 games. This year, his third in Atlanta and seventh in the Majors, Uggla has 11 home runs and 43 RBIs while hitting only .235, but he has 51 walks in 76 games for a .363 on-base percentage. This marks the third time Uggla has made an All-Star team, as he represented the Marlins as a MLB rookie in 2006 and again in 2008.
Also representing the National League is outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is making his first appearance in an All-Star game, even though he was the NL MVP in 2010. This year, his fourth in the Major Leagues, Gonzalez his batting .337 with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs in 71 games. Gonzalez, a native of Venezuela, was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Arizona in 2002 and played in 73 games with the Bears in 2004. Gonzalez batted .273 with had 15 doubles, two triples and nine homers while in Yakima.
The third former Bear on the National League team is Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Wade Miley, who is playing in his first MLB All-Star game. Having made his Major League debut in 2011, this is Miley's first full season as a regular in the D-backs rotation and he has gone 9-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 starts after three relief appearances to start the season. Miley played his first professional season with the Bears in 2008 after being drafted by the D-backs in first round and went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in seven relief appearances.
In the American League right-handed pitcher Ryan Cook will represent the Oakland A's. Cook started his pro career in Yakima after being selected by the D-backs in the 27th round of the 2008 draft. A starter in seven games for the Bears, Cook finished that season 2-2 with a 4.64 ERA. Cook made his MLB debut last year with the Diamondbacks, but was traded to the A's and has flourished out of the Oakland bullpen. Cook is 2-2 with a 1.59 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 34 innings and has six saves after taking over the closers role in June.
A reserve at first base for the American League, Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox has been selected to his sixth MLB All-Star game ('02, '05, '06, '10, '11, '12). Konerko was a catcher when he was selected in the first round by the LA Dodgers in 1994 and came to Yakima for his first professional season. While playing backstop for the Bears, Konerko hit .288 with 15 doubles, two triples, and six home runs in 67 games. This season, his 14th with the White Sox and 16th overall, Konerko is batting .336 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs. The Bears will honor Konerko with a bobblehead night on August 10th.
You can catch the current crop of Bears all summer long at Yakima County Stadium. Tickets to any game this season can be purchased at the Bears office at 17 North 3rd Street, by calling (509) 457-5151, or online at www.yakimabears.com.
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