The National League (NL) has defeated the American League (AL) for the first time in 11 years in the US Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game. It was backup catcher Elias Diaz (33-Colorado) who gave the National League its ninth straight All-Star Game victory since an 8-0 win in 2012.
The NL All-Star team defeated the AL All-Star team 3-2 in the 93rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA, on 12 December.
After allowing a solo homer to Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay) in the second inning, the NL All-Stars tied the game at 1-1 on a Luis Arajuez (Miami) RBI single to right. In the bottom of the sixth, he gave up a sacrifice fly to Bo Bissett (Toronto) to make it a 1-2 game, and he was left without a run until the eighth inning.
But in the top of the eighth, Nick Castellanos (Philadelphia) walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, prompting the NL All-Star to bring in Diaz in place of Jorge Soler (Miami). Diaz has just a .248 career batting average in nine major league seasons, but he has the power to hit 18 home runs in 2021. He lined a five-pitch splitter from Felix Batista (Baltimore) over the left field fence. It was a 360-foot (about 109 metres) over the fence. Josh Hader (Milwaukee) and Craig Kimbrel (Philadelphia) closed out the eighth and ninth innings to secure the NL All-Star’s first win in 11 years.
Earlier in the day, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (24-Toronto) won the All-Star Game Home Run Derby, beating Randy Arozarenas (28-Tampa Bay) 25-23 in the final. In doing so, he tied the record of winning the father-son All-Star Game Home Run Derby with Vladimir Guerrero Senior (48, then of the Los Angeles Angels) in 2007.바카라
After the game, Diaz, who was named MVP, said, “I was just trying to help the team with whatever they needed. I talked to my hitting coach before I stepped up to the plate, and I went in looking for a certain pitch, and I was able to show that at the plate,” he recalled.
He also thanked his mother, who came to watch the game from the stands. “I never thought I would be here,” Diaz said, “and I wouldn’t be here without all the sacrifices my mum has made. It’s very special to me to have her here,” he said with tears in his eyes.
The painful memory of his mother’s kidnapping and release in 2018: Catcher for last-place Pittsburgh, release, and brilliant rebirth in Colorado
Elias Diaz became the first catcher to play in the All-Star Game for Colorado, which was founded in 1993. Colorado Rockies official social media accounts
Part of the reason Diaz got emotional when asked about his mother is because of his own family history. His mother, Ana Soto, was kidnapped in her native Venezuela in 2018 while he was with Pittsburgh. In Venezuela, where security is poor, kidnappings of family members of high-paid athletes like major leaguers are not uncommon, and Diaz’s family became victims. Fortunately, with the active co-operation of the police, Mr Soto was returned to his family within a week.
“Nevertheless, Venezuela is my country. No matter what, I feel that Venezuela is the best, and I consider the people of Venezuela to be my people,” and has since continued his charity work to much acclaim.
According to MLB.com, Diaz’s mother was his inspiration for playing baseball. He stepped onto the field at her urging and broke into the major leagues in 2009 when he signed an international contract with Pittsburgh. In the minor leagues, he was a recognised catching prospect, appearing in the 2015 Futures Game, but in the majors, he was overshadowed by Francisco Cervelli. He finally made the team in 2019, but shared a lot of playing time with Jacob Starling and was eventually released after the season. His numbers in Pittsburgh were .250 with 13 home runs, 82 RBIs, and a .656 OPS in 250 games.
It was Colorado that reached out to him after his release. After a shortened 2020 season, he showed promise in 2021, hitting 18 home runs, and signed a three-year, $14.5 million extension with Colorado. This year, he is on pace for a career-high season, hitting .277 with nine homers and a .763 OPS through the first 80 games.
In early July, Diaz made a dramatic entrance into the All-Star Game as a manager’s pick, joining Will Smith (Los Angeles Dodgers) and fan-voted Sean Murphy (Atlanta). Diaz is the first Colorado catcher to be selected to the All-Star Game as a manager’s pick, and the only Colorado player to be selected this year.
From pinch-hitting to scoring the game-winning run to becoming Colorado’s first All-Star MVP… His All-Star Game jersey was a Hall of Fame induction jersey.
Diaz’s appearance in the game was hard to predict. He was the catcher behind Murphy and Smith, and was expected to be a late-game pinch-hitter at best. But Diaz didn’t let that one opportunity slip away.
Against Batista, whose weapons are fastballs and splitters, Diaz went in looking for nothing but splitters. The first splitter was fouled off, but the second was a grand slam over the left field fence at T-Mobile Park.
Diaz broke several records with the home run and the All-Star Game MVP award. According to CBS Sports, it was the first time since Mike Schmidt in 1981 that a National League player hit a home run to put his team ahead after the eighth inning in an All-Star Game, and he became the fifth Colorado player to hit a home run in an All-Star Game, joining Todd Helton (2003), Matt Holliday (2008), Trevor Story (2018) and Charlie Blackmon (2019).
He is also the first catcher to play in the All-Star Game for Colorado since the club’s inception in 1993, and the first player of any position to be named All-Star Game MVP. He also made Major League Baseball history. He became the seventh catcher to win an All-Star Game MVP and the second Venezuelan-born player to do so since Dave Concepcion in 1982. For becoming the second Venezuelan to win an All-Star MVP, the jersey he wears today is a Hall of Fame one.
“It’s a great honour to be associated with a player like Concepcion,” said an emotional Diaz.