Furcal replaces Reyes in All-Star Game
Excited shortstop finds out news after Saturday's game in LA
LOS ANGELES -- He and his family were planning to go to the beach and Disney World anyway. Now it can be the beach and Disneyland.
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal will replace injured Mets shortstop Jose Reyes in the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday in Anaheim, bringing the Dodgers' All-Star count to three alongside Andre Ethier, a starter, and Jonathan Broxton. Reyes has been bothered by an injury to his right oblique.
Furcal, 32, admitted he was disappointed when he was passed over for the National League's roster for this year's All-Star Game.
Yes, he missed a month because of a hamstring injury, then a little more time to visit his father in his final days.
"And then there's nothing I can do -- it's a fan vote for the players they want to see in the All-Star Game," Furcal said.
But his batting average after a 1-for-5 performance on Saturday was .333, which would be the best in the National League if he had enough at-bats to qualify. He hit a go-ahead home run in Thursday night's 3-2 win over the Cubs, and he has been one of the hottest players league-wide the past two weeks, with the most recent National League Player of the Week Award to show for it. He even set the Los Angeles record for scoring a run in the most consecutive games -- 12, last done by Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953.
Furcal has six home runs, including four in his last 10 games, 35 RBIs, 48 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.
"You know, my teammates support me," Furcal said. "All those guys, they're mad because I don't make the All-Star Game. But I said I cannot be mad. I tried to keep playing hard and do better every day."
After the Dodgers fell to the Cubs, 7-3, on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, Furcal was waiting for his family to show up for the players' family day held on the field. The Dodgers' children and wives were all mingling when he got a phone call.
"I got lucky -- I grabbed my phone and [general manager Ned Colletti] called me and asked me what I'm going to do on Monday and Tuesday," Furcal said. "I said, 'I got a plan to go with my family to Miami.' He told me, 'No, you made the All-Star team.' It made me so excited."
Furcal was 25 years old and in his fourth big league season with the Braves in 2003, when he was named to his only other All-Star Game as a reserve at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. With wife Glenny, sons Raffy Jr., 4, and Anthony, 1, by his side this time, Round 2 should be even more special.
"I said 'Thank you, God,' because my family's going to be happy, too," Furcal said.
There's been a lot to overcome, for which Furcal thanks his wife. He's had back surgery, shoulder surgery and a variety of other injuries take him away from the field. His father, Silvino, passed away less than a month ago. Two years ago in the NL Championship Series, he made three errors in the same inning in a series the Dodgers ended up losing to the Phillies.
"She always told me, 'You got to put your head up, keep going,'" Furcal said. "'As long as you work so hard, anything can happen.'"
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.