The Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on Tuesday evening is understandably the one that most everyone will be watching this week.
Yet another all-star contest will be held the next evening in Portland, Oregon as the Pacific Coast League All-Stars take on the top players from the International League counterparts in the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game.
There has been some grousing on the Scout.com message board over the fact that the Memphis Redbirds have just one representative on the team, reliever Jess Todd. The fact is that with a 25-man All-Star roster and 16 PCL clubs each getting one representative, typically as many clubs will have only player taken as those with two.
In fact, the Redbirds have had a single All-Star Game representative in each of the last four seasons. One has to go back to 2005 before finding multiple players selected. That year, pitchers Kevin Jarvis and Chris Gissell along with outfielder Raul Gonzalez made the team.
Gonzalez was a three-time participant in the game, though he was with Louisville (Cincinnati) in his first two appearances, in 2001 and 2002.
In the now-22-year history of the Triple-A All-Star Game, there has been only one multiple-game participant while a member of the Cardinals organization. Left-handed pitcher Steve Dixon was on the 1993 and 1994 teams when the Cards’ Triple-A affiliate was in Louisville. The former 31st-round draft pick pitched a total of two innings and allowed one earned run for a 4.50 ERA.
In terms of top performers, former Cardinals second baseman Adam Kennedy had the best single game by a St. Louis hitting prospect. In the 1999 contest, the second baseman had a single and a double and scored twice in three All-Star at-bats.
The Cardinals have had coaching involvement in the game three times. Current Cardinals bench coach and then-Louisville manager Joe Pettini was invited in 1994 and former Redbirds pitching coach and current Minor League Pitching Coordinator Dyar Miller participated representing both Louisville (1996) and Memphis (2003).
Though no St. Louis-affiliated manager has played that role in a Triple-A All-Star Game, current Springfield skipper Ron “Pop” Warner appeared in the 1998 contest as a player.
Following is the log of all Cardinals’ Triple-A All-Star Game participants since the game was first played in 1988. ERAs and batting averages are cumulative of all player appearances in the game. When those results include all-star outings representing another organization, those clubs are noted. (DNP=did not play)
(One can read a recap of the Cardinals Triple-A history since 1977 here.)