Yesterday Justin Upton was selected for the All-Star game, making him the 29th All-Star selection in the 14 year history of the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise. Considering the franchise has made the playoffs four times, finished over .500 seven times, and won a World Series it's a bit of a surprise they haven't had more All-Stars but I digress. OK I don't digress, only 16 different guys have been All-Stars, including Junior Spivey, Byung-Hyun Kim, and Damian Miller that's kind of weird, right?
With that background in mind I wanted to look at the five best All-Star game performances from Diamondbacks in those 28 previous appearances. Though the Diamondbacks have had only a limited number of All-Stars and are actually one of only two teams in Major League Baseball who've failed to have a player hit a home run in the midsummer classic (Milwaukee is the other), that hasn't prevented them from having at least some impressive performances.
(5) - Brandon Webb (2008, pitcher)
- Stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K's
Webb was already a star before 2008 - he was a two-time All-Star and won the 2006 Cy Young. He also had a memorable 42 inning scoreless streak during the 2007 season in which he threw three straight complete game shutouts.
In 2008 he won his first nine starts and though he slowed down and was "just" 13-4 at the break he was still selected for his third All-Star game. Webb came on to pitch in the 14th inning in a game which had been tied since the eight.
(4) - Damian Miller (2002, catcher)
- Stats: 2/3, 2 2Bs, RBI, run
Miller was the starting catcher on the D-Backs 2001 championship team and generally known as a guy who'd catch a good game but was a decent bat at best. Thus his selection as an All-Star in 2002 was a bit of a surprise especially considering his pedestrian stats.
Yet when he did get into the game he managed to make quite the impact with his wooden baseball stick. Miller came on to catch in the fifth inning and in his first at-bat hit an RBI double that scored Jimmy Rollins and gave the NL a three run lead.
He grounded out in his final at-bat but the main reason he's not higher on this list is because the AL stole 3 bases off of him.
(3) - Curt Schilling (2002, pitcher)
- Stats: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K's
Arizona acquired Schilling in July of 2000 for a crap salad of Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla. Though the D-Backs couldn't get into the playoffs that first season, they won the World Series behind the Schilling/Johnson combo in 2001.
With the dominant Johnson on the shelf for the 2002 All-Star game, Schilling was named to start. In an 11 inning game which wound up as a tie (seriously), the AL scored 7 runs on 12 hits - just one of those hits was off of Schilling.
The D-Backs star retired Ichiro and then struck out Shea Hillenbrand and Alex Rodriguez to end his first inning. While in the second inning he struck out Jason Giambi, allowed a hit to Manny Ramirez, and forced Jorge Posada and Torii Hunter into groundouts.
(2) - Randy Johnson (2001, pitcher)
- Stats: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K's
By 2001 Randy Johnson had already delivered two Cy Youngs as a member of the Diamondbacks and has basically already paid off the five year, $52 million dollar deal he signed with Arizona prior to 1999. The Big Unit's stats of 11-5, 2.71 ERA and a ridiculous 202 strikeouts were enough for him to be named the All-Star game starter for 2001.
The first batter Johnson faced was Japanese rookie and soon-to-be MVP Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro singled and stole second - that was all Johnson allowed. He proceeded to strike out Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez before forcing Bret Boone into a pop up to end the inning.
In the second inning, Johnson set Juan Gonzalez, John Olerud, and Edgar Martinez (via strikeout for Edgar) down to close out his appearance.
(1) - Devon White (1998, outfield)
- Stats: 3/3, 3B, run
He was the Diamondbacks first (and only) All-Star in a season during which Andy Benes was something that was considered an ace. At the time, White was a 35 year-old centerfielder on the way down in his career and was spending his one and only season with Arizona.
The veteran was selected for the All-Star game after posting 13 homers, 49 RBIs, and .292/.337/.478 stats while playing a still pretty decent center field. Not phenomenal numbers in steroid infused 1998 but solid enough to at least make him look legit.
White came on as a defensive replacement in the fifth inning. In his first at bat the next half inning he ripped a triple off of Bartolo Colon and scored 2 batters later on a Barry Bonds homer. He came up again in the bottom of the sixth and singled off Rolando Arrojo.
In his final at-bat in the eight inning with the NL trailing 10-8 and two runners on base, he lined another single but Fernando Vina was thrown out at home.