Hey now, you’re a Paul Star!
A’s right-hander Paul Blackburn represented the franchise well at the 2022 MLB All-Star game despite his admitted nerves. He retired three heavy-hitters: Trea Turner, Albert Pujols and Joc Pederson while overcoming an error by Jose Ramirez.
Turner? That’s cool because he was playing in front of his home crowd. Pujols? Historic, as Blackburn will go down as the guy who got the Hall of Famer out in his final All-Star at-bat. Pederson? Blackburn grew up a Giants fan and they’re both from the Bay Area, so it must have been special. Getting a punch out to walk off the mound must have felt good, too.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle caught up with Blackburn Tuesday night after his whirlwind couple of days at Chavez Ravine.
“It was awesome, probably the most nervous I’ve been coming into a game,” Blackburn told Shea. “Just an unreal experience, everything that was done here. They put on a real good show and treated us really well.”
Good on Blackburn for completely geeking out for this experience. He also told Shea that he relished the opportunity to have a locker next to Mike Trout.
“It’s friggin’ Mike Trout,” Blackburn told Shea. “C’mon, a really cool experience. I’m a fan, too.”
In case you missed Blackburn’s outing, you can watch it now on The Rickey Henderson of YouTube. Congrats to Pauly Punchout for throwing a scoreless inning on baseball’s biggest stage just 17 months after getting DFA’d and clearing waivers.