Richmonder Jackie Bradley selected to MLB All-Star team
7/8/2016, 5:51 p.m.
Richmond native Jackie Bradley Jr. is officially a Major League Baseball All-Star.
The 26-year-old outfielder for the Boston Red Sox will be an American League starter at the 87th annual MLB All-Star Game on July 12 at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Starters were determined by an internet vote of fans. Balloting closed June 30. Results were released Tuesday on the ESPN Selection Show.
Bradley, who bats left-handed but throws right-handed, received the second highest number of votes among outfielders, trailing only the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, the All-Star MVP the past two years.
Another Red Sox player, Mookie Betts, will be the third starting outfielder.
As of Tuesday, Bradley was hitting .294, with 13 homers, 20 doubles, six triples, 53 runs batted in (RBI) and a .381 on-base percentage.
Defensively he is fielding .990, with eight outfield assists.
He drew national attention earlier this season with a 29-game hitting streak.
Bradley was born in Richmond and lived in the city until middle school, when he moved with his mother to Prince George County. Some of his early tutoring in the game came from the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League.
He gained fame at Prince George High School and the University of South Carolina before signing with Boston in 2011. His baseball address has been Boston’s Fenway Park since 2013. This will be his first All-Star appearance.
The American League lineup brims with players of color.
Top vote getters at their positions are Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, Boston designated hitter David Ortiz and Boston outfielders Bradley and Betts.
No African-American players competed in All-Star games until the 1949 contest at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.
Suiting up for the National League in 1949 were Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe, all from host Brooklyn, while Cleveland’s Larry Doby represented the American League.
Bradley isn’t the first player with local ties to be named to the Mid-Summer Classic. Others include:
Justin Verlander (Goochland), pitcher, six-time American League pick with the Detroit Tigers, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Also the 2011 AL Most Valuable Player.
Sean Casey (University of Richmond), first base, three-time National League pick with the Cincinnati Reds, 1999, 2001 and 2004.
Granny Hamner (Benedictine), infielder, three-time NL pick with the Philadelphia Phillies, 1952, 1953 and 1954.
Gene Alley (Hermitage High School), shortstop, two-time NL pick with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1967 and 1968.
Brandon Inge (Virginia Commonwealth University), third base with the Detroit Tigers, 2009.
Brian Jordan (University of Richmond), outfield, 1999 NL pick with the Atlanta Braves.
Al Bumbry (Virginia State University), outfield, 1980 AL pick with the Baltimore Orioles.
Johnny Grubb (Meadowbrook High School), 1974 NL pick with the San Diego Padres.
If you count minor leaguers passing through Richmond, the list mushrooms. To mention a few:
From the Virginians: Joe Pepitone, Luis Arroyo and Mel Stottlemyre.
The Richmond Braves: Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, Dusty Baker, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Javy Lopez, Chipper Jones, Ron Gant, Glenn Hubbard, Andruw Jones and Ralph Garr.
The Flying Squirrels: Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford.