Matt Wieters can thank Russell Martin for All-Star Game action

July 13, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Matt Wieters entered Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game in the sixth inning, getting a couple of innings to soak in first All-Star experience. But if it wasn't for Russell Martin, who reportedly did something selfless for his Orioles catching counterpart, his experiences might have been limited to the American League dugout.

According to The New York Daily News, the Yankees catcher asked Rangers manager Ron Washington to put Wieters in for the final innings of the National League’s 5-1 victory because Martin has played in an All-Star Game before and Wieters hadn’t. So Washington made Martin -- a three-time All-Star who was originally supposed to replace starter Alex Avila -- the emergency catcher, and Martin didn’t end up getting into the game.

“I just thought it was a good idea. … For me, I put myself in his shoes,” said Martin, an All-Star in 2007 and 2008. “If I got to my first All-Star Game and I didn’t have a chance to play, it would kind of suck a little bit.”

Yeah, kind of.

When Wieters, who went 0-for-1 and allowed a passed ball, got wind of what Martin had done, he said that he had a feeling that Martin had requested the switch, but “I didn’t know for sure.”

“When I came in today, he seemed to have a pretty good idea that I was going to get in there,” he said. "It’s huge. I appreciate that so much. It makes me think that much more of that guy. It’s a real unselfish act.”

I know Martin plays for the hated Yankees, but it’s hard not to like him -- at least a little bit -- after hearing about this classy move.

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