It was a historic weekend in Seattle as the Major League Baseball 2023 All-Star Game and its festivities took the city by storm.
Many players were excited to be out in Seattle representing their team on the biggest stage in baseball.
For George Kirby, “It’s been great. I couldn’t ask for a better situation with my first one being in Seattle. I’m really looking forward to meeting people and picking their brains and taking it all in.“
The youth carry the game, and plenty are represented here in Seattle. In the all star game there are 33 first time all stars, the most ever. Corbin Burnes and Devin Williams from the Brewers have now both made multiple All-Star games and are one of the rare non-first timers. Burnes has seen Williams grow and blossom into one of the best closers in the game. “It was just the maturity that he’s gained from being around the game and being around guys like (Josh) Hader and some of the better guys being able to learn a lot about the game,” Burnes said.
The Swingman HBCU Classic has been and will continue to be a big part of All-Star Weekend. As one of five African American players on either roster Williams was proud of what went down July 7. “I heard really good things about it. I hope they’re gonna continue doing it, I think that’s the plan. I think that’ll be really big for growing the game in the black community,” he said.
Spencer Strider made his MLB Debut in October of 2021 with the Atlanta Braves and hasn’t looked back. This season he is currently leading the entire MLB in strikeouts with 166, through 31 starts last year he had 202. He’s only started 18 so far this season. He is one of many young pitchers dealing in the league this year, “ I think they have been able to figure out that simplifying their skill set is a good way to be successful.. I think technology has also helped them with what I was talking about,” Strider said.
Josh Jung of the Texas Rangers has a slight connection to the Pacific Northwest. The Rookie AL Starting third baseman, while with the Round Rock Express during the 2022 season. He shared a clubhouse with Federal Way Native Nick Tanielu. “He’s a vet. I was coming off a big injury so I got to see how he went about his business… Seeing how he went about his business impacted how I go about mine,” Jung said.
The Arizona Diamondbacks rookie sensation Corbin Carroll is one of the highlights of the All-Star Game here in Seattle. The Lakeside HS alum is in the starting lineup for the National League and grew up attending Mariners games. “It’s a great accomplishment, I’m super proud of it. A lot of hard work went into this… With it being in my hometown where I grew up, that’s very special,” Carroll said.
Kyle Tucker had one of the more unusual All-Star Weekends being consistently booed by Mariners fans throughout the entirety of the events. Tucker has another distant connection to the Pacific Northwest, not only did his brother get married here. But a new coach on the coaching staff is a Lindbergh High School alumni, Tommy Kawamura. “I’ve known him for a little while now and he does a good job getting all the scouting reports and helping us out with whatever we need. Him being on the bench is just a second set of eyes with whatever the coaching staff needs help with or the players, Tucker said.
The Mariners ended the first half of the season with arguably their best stretch of baseball for the entire season. For skipper Scott Servais it’s important to keep doing what they have been doing well and not trying to do too much. “Our pitching has been good all year. We’re starting to see some sign offensively, like putting together bigger innings, doing the little things that allow that to happen,” he said.
“You got to have contributions up and down the line up. You can’t just have two or three guys going well. But we’re starting to see more of that (up and down the line up),” Servais said.