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Goddard’s Derek Norris named All-Star for first time

  • Eagle news services
  • Published Sunday, July 6, 2014, at 10:07 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 10:45 a.m.

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The All-Star parched Oakland A’s quenched their thirst Sunday with six, no make that seven, All-Star selections, including the first position players plucked from an Oakland roster in 11 years, including catcher and Goddard product Derek Norris.

Starting third baseman Josh Donaldson and three backups — left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, catcher Derek Norris and first baseman Brandon Moss — all were tabbed to the American League team, as were starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and closer Sean Doolittle.

In addition, the A’s newest player, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, capped a day in which he won his first start for Oakland with the news that he’d been selected to the National League team for the work he’d done with the Chicago Cubs.

Norris, 25, doesn’t play every day because he’s part of a rare three-catcher platoon. The Wichita State signee was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals in 2007 and went straight into professional baseball instead of playing for the Shockers. This is his third season in the majors and his first All-Star appearance.

Perhaps the most unlikely of the A’s on the A.L. All-Star team is Moss. He was on the ballot as a D.H. but was picked as a first baseman and Moss was speaking for the group as a whole about the makeup of the Oakland contingent.

“We’ve got a guy who came from Cuba,” Moss continued. “We’ve got a guy who was pitching for the Skeeters a few years ago. We’ve got Dino (Norris); you know I saw him in Triple-A a few years ago, and I told my wife, ‘This guy’s going to be an All-Star.’ J.D. (Donaldson), the same thing. We’ve all taken pretty interesting paths to get this opportunity.

“Nothing here is taken for granted. We’ve all worked extremely hard to get here.”

If nothing else, the A’s, who have the best record in the major leagues, have representation that reflects the club’s 55-33 record. Oakland had a chance for three starting position players, but after Donaldson made it, Cespedes and Norris wound up being picked to the team as backups, as did Moss. Players pick the pitchers, and Kazmir and Doolittle got in via peer vote, as did Samardzija.

Royals’ trio named All-Stars — The familiar trio of catcher Salvador Perez, outfielder Alex Gordon and closer Greg Holland will represent the Royals at the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field. The three players all appeared in the game for the first time last season, the first time the club had sent more than two players to the game since 1988.

“It’s nice to make an All-Star team,” manager Ned Yost said. “But to be a two-time All-Star? That’s special. I think these guys all have the capability of being three- and four- and five-time All-Stars.”

Perez will be starting the game because of an injury to Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, the leading vote-getter among the fans.

All three Royals were chosen for the team based on the players’ vote. Perez, who was fifth, was the only Royal who finished in the top-five in fan voting at any position.

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