Brady Anderson is going home, Mike Mussina isn't -- and it will be the experience of a lifetime for both. The two Orioles learned shortly before last night's game with the Minnesota Twins that they had been added to the American League's All-Star team by manager Tom Kelly.
For Anderson, who is from San Diego, site of Tuesday's game, it means going home in style. "It will be nice that my dad will be able to be there," Anderson said.
The trip to San Diego means Mussina will have to back out of a golftournament held to raise funds for the athletic department at Montoursville (Pa.) High School, his alma mater. "I'm sure they'll understand," he said.
Neither Anderson nor Mussina is prone to revealing emotions, but both said their selection was special. Anderson, who gave manager Johnny Oates and the Orioles' coaching staff credit for his sudden success this year, appeared particularly moved by ++ the reception he got from his teammates.
"When I went to the outfield [during batting practice] they were all clapping and hugging me, it was really great," said Anderson. "That was the highlight of my professional career."
Virtually a forgotten man when spring training started, Anderson has been the Orioles' leadoff hitter since the first exhibition game and has responded with a monster first half. Asked what Anderson's initial reaction was when told of his All-Star spot, Oates laughed.
"I can't remember exactly what it was he said -- it was one of those expressions the 'flower children' used years ago," said Oates. It was then that Anderson thanked Oates for giving him his opportunity.
"I told him I didn't give him anything," said Oates, which is about what Kelly said when Anderson thanked the Minnesota manager for picking him. "I didn't pick you --you deserve it," said Kelly.
Anderson, however, insisted that Oates has been instrumental in the year he has had. "He deserves a lot of the credit for confidence he has shown in me," said the left fielder.
Mussina also received the news after he was called into Oates' office.
"I knew it was either to be told I made it, or that I had pitched well enough but hadn't been picked," said Mussina. "I was surprised. It's tough to anticipate going to the All-Star Game in your first full year. There's probably 15-18 [pitchers] who deserve to be there."
Mussina said he first thought about the possibility last week, when he beat the Twins, 6-1, in Minnesota. "I was 9-3, my earned run average was fourth best in the league, and Tom Kelly was picking the team, so I thought maybe I had a chance.
"I'll be well-rested, so, hopefully, I'll get a chance to pitch, but even if I don't, just being out there with so many guys I used to watch on television will be exciting."