On this date in Texas Rangers history, Hank Blalock made his impact on Rangers All-Star Game history and tied a Hall of Famer in the process.
On July 15, 2003, Blalock appeared in the All-Star Game alongside former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez. But Blalock tied Ken Griffey Jr. to become third youngest player to hit a home run in the All-Star Game. Blalock and Griffey were both 22 years and 236 days old when they accomplished the feat.
The only two younger players were Johnny Bench (1969, 21 years, 22 days) and Joe Medwick (1934, 22 years, 228 days). Since Bench and Medwick accomplished the feat for the National League, that also allowed Blalock to tie Griffey for the youngest AL player to accomplish the feat.
Blalock is one of those Rangers that had a good-but-not-great career with Texas, even though he was a highly-touted prospect when he broke into the Majors in 2002 at the age of 21. He played eight years for the Rangers and made two All-Star games, and was its most productive third baseman between Dean Palmer and Adrián Beltré. He hit .269 for his career, blasting 153 home runs and driving in 542 RBI. He played his final Major League season in 2010 with Tampa Bay, playing just 26 games.
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July 15, 1975: Two Rangers players, Toby Harrah and Mike Hargrove, represented the team in the 1976 All-Star Game. Harrah did not play. Rangers manager Billy Martin also served as a coach.
July 15, 1986: In Houston, pitcher Charlie Hough was the only Rangers players in the All-Star Game, held at The Astrodome.
July 15, 2008: At New York City, infielder Michael Young drove in the winning run of the All-Star Game for the second time in his career, as his sacrifice fly drove in a run for the American League in the 15th inning of a 4-3 victory. Josh Hamilton was the Rangers’ one elected starter in the All-Star Game, with Ian Kinsler and Milton Bradley selected as reserves. Bradley started as a designated hitter.
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