PHOENIX – For the first time during his 11-year Major League career, Venezuelan Eduardo Escobar was selected to be part of the All-Star Game.
The D-backs infielder was chosen as the reserve of the National League team for the Midseason Classic, to be played on Tuesday, July 13 at Coors Field in Denver. The Maracay native is the sole representative of the D-backs at the event.
“Wow,” Escobar said. “I’m very happy. I’ve been working really hard every year for this opportunity to go to the All-Star Game. I am too happy. It is a very special moment for me, my wife, my family and my colleagues. I’m going to represent Arizona and that’s the most important thing of all. “
Escobar, 32, entered Tuesday’s game hitting .248 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs. He leads the D-backs in those last two categories, in which he also ranks fifth and fourth in the National League, respectively.
Acquired by the D-backs mid-season in 2018, Escobar has become a leader in the clubhouse and a key part of the offense. Defensively, he has spent the most time in the second and third.
“We are very proud of him for that call,” said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. “He deserves it very much. This year has been very difficult for all of us and Eduardo has been a very consistent player, not only on the field, but also outside. He always comes ready to play and is an amazing teammate. He is a friend to everyone here.
“Many times you play this game and it doesn’t pay you back. This is one of those situations in which the game has given him something and he deserves it very much ”.
Escobar didn’t have a good season in 2020, just the second time in the past eight seasons that he didn’t have an OPS + of 100 or higher. But it has rebounded this year and has been one of the few positives for the D-backs in 2021.
“Last year was very difficult for me,” Escobar said. “I had a conversion with our manager… something happened, because I wanted to train harder and do a great job in the offseason coming in strong. I know I changed everything ”.
For Escobar, being part of the All-Star Game was always a dream he wanted to make a reality.
Lovullo knows that was the case, so it gave him a special satisfaction to break the news to Escobar on Sunday in front of all his teammates.
“I’ve dreamed of this for a long time,” Escobar said. “When you start watching baseball as a kid, you see the Major League Baseball players on TV and you watch the All-Star Game. It is a dream when you start playing baseball. You dream of going to the All-Star Game, winning a Gold Glove, winning the World Series. That is why I come to play hard every day. I don’t like days off.
“It has always been my dream since I was a child, especially when I remember where I come from. I had nothing. I come from a poor family and I tried really hard, because I wanted to be a major league player. And now I am an All-Star ”.