Chipper, Javy, Klesko, and Thome: the 1993 Triple-A All-Star Game

It’s a slow day at the Winter Meetings as far as the Mariners and Rainiers are concerned.

But do check out the first link down below, as The News Tribune ran an article on possible Tacoma Rainiers players for 2017.

With nothing else occurring (yet), it’s time for another…. Triple-A All-Star Flashback!

Tacoma is hosting the 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game at Cheney Stadium on July 12. We’ll spend the winter looking back at the previous years, to give fans an idea what they can expect in Tacoma this summer.

1993

The 1993 Triple-A All-Star Game was held at Sport Stadium in Albuquerque, a true launching pad.

The stadium lived up to its reputation, as the all-stars combined to hit seven home runs in the National League’s 14-3 victory.

While at least one future Hall of Famer (Chipper Jones) and possibly another (Jim Thome) played in the game, it was Atlanta Braves prospect Ryan Klesko who had a record-setting day.

Klesko went 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, four runs scored, and three runs batted in. He is one of just two players in Triple-A All-Star Game history to collect four hits in one game, joining Luis Sojo (1990). He was the first player to hit two home runs in the game, and the only one to do it until Adam Dunn hit two bombs in the 2001 affair.

The Richmond Braves dominated the proceedings.

Chipper Jones started at shortstop and led off for the NL, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single. Javy Lopez was the starting catcher, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Richmond reliever Billy Taylor (who would eventually become the Oakland A’s closer) delivered two scoreless innings – no easy feat in this game.

1993 Triple-A All-Star Game Fun Facts:

  • Both all-star managers were big league skippers just a few years later. NL manager Bill Russell (Albuquerque) piloted the Dodgers for three years, and the AL’s Charlie Manuel (Charlotte) amassed 12 seasons as a major league manager.
  • Jim Thome was a third baseman for Charlotte back then. He went hitless and was charged with an error. He managed to make it as a big league third baseman for his first four seasons before moving across the diamond to first base in 1997.
  • Tacoma – still the Tigers in 1993 – was represented by infielders Kurt Abbott and Webster Garrison. Abbott started at shortstop and went 1-for-2, Garrison came off the bench to play second base and went 0-for-2.
  • We sent our first trainer to the all-star game: Tacoma’s Walt Horn handled the AL training room. Horn was the Tacoma Tigers trainer from 1983 to 1994.
  • Current Tacoma Rainiers pitching coach Lance Painter was an all-star, representing Colorado Springs. He did not pitch in the game. Painter had made his Major League debut earlier in the season, in May, and returned to the big leagues in August. The day he returned, August 29, he pitched a complete game five-hitter at Shea Stadium to earn his first big league win.
  • Other notable future major leaguers in the 1993 game included Rob Ducey, Keith Lockhart, Troy O’Leary, Eduardo Perez, Rick Reed, Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes, and Steve Trachsel.
  • This was probably a really fun Home Run Derby. It included a future 600 HR Club member in Thome, Klesko was a big power prospect at the time, and then there were classic PCL sluggers like Billy Ashley and J.R. Phillips in the event. Norfolk’s Ryan Thompson took home the trophy.

Check back tomorrow – hopefully we’ll get some good Winter Meetings news.

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