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Florida leads the country in All-Star participants

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With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game coming to Florida for the first time, a large number of the All-Stars will be returning to their home state. During Tuesday night’s game at Marlins Park in Miami, 9 Floridians, including one of the starting pitchers, will be joining the game’s best.

Left hander Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox and the starting pitcher for the American League, is a native of Lakeland and a graduate of Lakeland High School. He also played college baseball at Florida Gulf Coast.

One of those who could come on in relief of Sale is right hander Lance McCullers of the Houston Astros.  McCullers is a graduate of Tampa Jesuit High School.

Another American League relief pitcher is Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians. Miller is a left hander from Gainesville and Bucholz High School.

Two other Floridians playing for the Cleveland Indians will also be in Miami. Shortstop Francisco Lindor of Montverde Academy and left fielder Michael Brantley of Fort Pierce Central High.

One American League player will literally be coming home. Oakland Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso is a graduate of Coral Gables High School and also played college baseball for the Miami Hurricanes.

Floridians on the National League squad includes former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greinke played high school baseball in Apopka.

One of the game’s best closers is Wade Davis of the Chicago Cubs. He played for Lake Wales High School.

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy is one of baseball’s premier hitters. Murphy is a graduate of Jacksonville Englewood High School and played for the Jacksonville University Dolphins.

“We are so proud to have 9 former (Florida high school) student-athletes participating in this year’s All-Star Game – the most in the nation,” said Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Executive Director George Tomyn. “With the game being played in Miami and the inclusion of these 9 players, the extraordinary talent we have in the state of Florida will be well represented for this showcase event.”

 

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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