Big Leaguers Notebook: July 8
Konerko headed to All-Star Game after winning AL Final Vote
The fans have spoken and Paul Konerko is officially a "PaulStar." Konerko won the AL Final Vote with 8.4 million votes to punch his ticket to the All-Star Game. "My mom was probably a million of them," laughed the five-time All-Star, who lives in Arizona and plans to donate his $15,000 bonus to charities in Chicago and Phoenix. "I don't think you ever play long enough or do enough where going to the All-Star Game isn't a big deal." (Chicago Tribune)
In case you haven't heard, Aubrey Huff is a dance floor legend. (YouTube)
In anticipation of his milestone 3,000th hit, Derek Jeter will wear special gear, featuring a replica of the contract that he signed with his dad back in high school, promising that he would stay on track toward his goals. (ESPN.com)
For Brian Wilson, the best day of Little League was the day he'd go to look at new baseball gloves with his dad. "Every year, I'd go to Sports Authority, and it's like baseball heaven in there. It was all the new gear and the gloves," recalled Wilson, who treasured his glove despite not being able to afford an expensive version growing up (MLB.com). Wilson shared the thrilling feeling of a new glove with underprivileged young baseball players on Thursday, giving 1,000 Junior Giants each a brand new baseball glove. (MLB.com)
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli was so confident that the Miami Heat would beat the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals that he was willing to bet his walk-up music on it. (ESPN Dallas)
The Angels' Jordan Walden and Bobby Cassevah made plans to go fishing and boating at Big Bear Lake this weekend. Hey, uh, Bobby. You free next weekend instead? Jordan just had something come up... (Los Angeles Times)
David Ortiz, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia put on a laser show in Boston (MLB.com), the closing time special at Progressive Field was smoked salami, courtesy of Travis Hafner (MLB.com), and anyone who came to the plate with a jersey that said 'Upton' on the back won a free two-run home run (MLB.com: 1 / 2).
Tweet of the Day: "Hurting for the family of the man who passed away at our game tonight...words can't express the sorrow I feel inside...praying for them..." -- Brad Ziegler, who is one of many Major Leaguers sending their condolences to the family of baseball fan Shannon Stone and his son. (@bradziegler)
Quote of the Day: "It's obviously a dream for everyone who plays this game to make an All-Star team. Before, in my career, that's never, ever been an opportunity or even a thought. I was sitting at home [last season] wondering if I would ever get a chance to play again. To be an All-Star now is really special." -- Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who was named an All-Star for the first time one year after being released from his Triple-A team. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.