Furcal headed to 2nd All-Star Game
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal was added to the National League All-Star team as a reserve after New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes aggravated a right oblique injury during Saturday's game with Atlanta and was forced to withdraw.
Furcal said he was notified of his late addition via a phone call from Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti shortly after Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
"It means a lot,'' Furcal said. "I have never even seen that [late addition] happen before. I never even thought about making the All-Star team. I never guessed somebody would get hurt and they would call me.''
Furcal went 1-for-5 in the Dodgers' 7-3 loss to the Cubs on Saturday and will go into Sunday night's first-half finale with a .333 batting average, five home runs, 54 RBIs and a .379 on-base percentage. He has put up those numbers despite missing a month with a strained left hamstring and five additional games following the death of his father.
This will be Furcal's second career All-Star berth after he was named to the NL team as a reserve in 2003 while with the Atlanta Braves. But that was before he met his wife, Glenny, and before either of his two boys, Rafael Jr., 4, and Anthony, 23 months, were born.
Furcal said the opportunity to share the experience with the three of them will make this one more special.
It might be even more special for some of his teammates, who were mildly annoyed that Furcal originally was left off the NL team when it was announced Sunday, with Florida's Hanley Ramirez as the starter at shortstop and Reyes as the primary backup.
"It's nice because my teammates support me,'' Furcal said. "They were mad because I didn't make the All-Star team. But I said I couldn't get mad about it. I'll just keep playing hard, try to get better and better every day and try to help my team make the playoffs.''
Furcal went 1-for-3 in the 2003 All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, delivering a pinch-hit single off Seattle's Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the fifth inning and playing the rest of the game at shortstop.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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