Former Huskers Alex Gordon and Tony Watson each earned invitations to the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on Sunday night, marking the first time in program history that a pair of former Huskers have been tabbed as all-stars in the same season. The two will compete in the 2014 Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 15, at Target Field in Minneapolis at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on FOX.
Gordon was selected on the Player Ballot – a vote of the players, managers and coaches, while N.L. manager Mike Matheny used on of his nine selections on Watson.
A three-time Gold Glove winning outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, Gordon was selected to the American League All-Star Team for the second straight season. He joins former Major Leaguer and current Husker head coach Darin Erstad as the only former Huskers to earn multiple All-Star Game selection, as Erstad was an all-star in 1998 and 2000.
Gordon and the Royals enter Monday 4.0 games back in the American League Central behind the Detroit Tigers. The Lincoln native has 83 hits, 46 runs, 42 RBIs, 23 doubles, nine home runs and six stolen bases on the season. Defensively he has six assists on the year, while committing just one error.
Watson earned his first All-Star Game selection on Sunday in his fourth season in the Majors, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Husker from 2004 to 2007, Watson is the first Pirates left-handed reliever ever to be named to the all-star team and one of 10 southpaws in club history to be selected.
Entering Monday, Watson ranks third among Major League relief pitchers with a 0.89 ERA and has 49 strikeouts on the year in 40.2 innings of work over 41 appearances. Since the start of last season, Watson has 103 strikeouts, which ranks fourth among National League left-handed relievers.