Eight years after taking part in the Major League Baseball Futures Game, Maui native and Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki has arrived.
The 30-year-old kicked off All Star Game festivities Monday in Minnesota by meeting with the media and having a front row seat to the annual Home Run Derby.
Selected to his first Mid-Summer Classic as a member of the American League, the former Cal State Fullerton College World Series Champion graces the cover of the official All Star Game program and will be playing on his home park of Target Field on Tuesday night.
“I think it’s special to be able to play in your home park in the All Star Game, on my first All Star Game, so this experience is going to be incredible,” said Suzuki. “Everyone is telling me how awesome it is to be in an All Star Game in your own town. They said the ovation is pretty incredible.”
Through the midway mark of 2014, Suzuki is batting a Twins best .309 with 36 RBI and 18 doubles.
The Baldwin alumni is just the fourth Hawaii High School graduate to ever ASG honors to his resume, joining Sid Fernandez (Kaiser/1985, 1986), Shane Victorino (Saint Anthony/2009, 2011) and Brandon League (Saint Louis/2011), but becomes the first to complete the “Triple Crown” of collegiate All-American, Minor League and Major League All Star.
The 85th annual All Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 15, in Minnesota. Television coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. HST on KHON2.