The Only 4 Hawaiians ever to make the MLB All-Star Team
When the Phillies' Shane Victorino received a record 15.6 million fan votes last week, he beat out the Giants' Pablo Sandoval for the last spot on the National League All-Star Team. (Recent tradition gives the last spot to the people. Though, to be fair, the people can vote as often as they like. For instance, three Phillies fans won a radio station promotion and sat in the press box lounge for 52 straight hours clicking nonstop for Victorino.)
By earning the spot, Victorino (aka The Flyin' Hawaiian), became only the fourth Hawaiian ever to make the All-Star team. Here are some factoids about each Hawaiian, as you gear up for tomorrow night's game (read: endless series of Taco Bell commercials).
1. Charlie Hough
Born: January 5, 1948, Honolulu, Hawaii
Career highlight: Hough holds the distinction of being the oldest Major Leaguer born in Hawaii to eventually make the All-Star team, which he did in 1986 (a theme, you'll discover shortly). He pitched his best years for the Texas Rangers and left Texas as the franchise leader in wins, strikeouts, complete games and losses.
What's he doing now? Hough is the pitching coach for the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino, the AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2. Ron Darling
Born: August 19, 1960, Honolulu, Hawaii
Career highlight: Selected to the 1985 All-Star team when he played for the Mets, the team he'd help win the World Series in 1986.
What's he doing now? Working as a color commentator on TBS, as well as for the Mets on both SNY and WPIX.
3. Sid Fernandez
Born: October 12, 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii
Career highlight: Just like Darling, Fernandez helped the Mets win the '86 World Series. He also went to the All-Star game that year, and repeated the following year, thanks to a strong first half of the year (he'd only go 3-3 after the break).
What's he doing now? Living in Hawaii again. He and his wife run the Sid Fernandez Foundation, which awards college scholarships to seniors from the Fernandezes' alma mater, Kaiser High School. He also plays a lot of golf.
4. Shane Victorino
Born: November 30, 1980, Wailuku, Hawaii (the only one of the four not born in Honolulu)
Position: Outfielder (the only one of the four who isn't a pitcher)
Career highlight: Shane helped the Phillies win the World Series last season, and also won a Gold Glove Award last year. He blogged for the Phillies all through the playoffs, and has become known as one of MLB's most upstanding players with a winning attitude/approach to the game.
What's he doing now? Taking BP in St. Lou.