Tejada named to AL All-Star team
Shortstop gets third straight nod to Midsummer Classic
ATLANTA -- One day after reaching a major statistical milestone, Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada was recognized as one of the best players in the league. Tejada played in his 1,000th straight game on Saturday and was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday, clinching his involvement in the Midsummer Classic for the third straight season.
This year, the All-Star Game will be played at Pittsburgh's PNC Park on July 11.
"It's great to go to the All-Star Game one more year. I am happy to get selected," said Tejada. "That's another thing I've got to say, 'Thank God.' It's good to represent the American League and the Orioles."
Last year, Tejada didn't just participate -- he won the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player trophy. Of course, he started alongside Brian Roberts, his double-play partner in Baltimore. This year, Tejada will be on his own.
"It's one of the most memorable things," said Tejada, speaking about the All-Star MVP trophy, which came with a Corvette. "I never thought that I was going to win the MVP of the All-Star Game, and I did. That's something that I'll never forget. Even when I am home, every time I see a yellow car, that's something that I am going to remember."
Tejada, a four-time All-Star, has won two straight Silver Slugger awards and seems well on his way to a third. Heading into Sunday's game, Tejada led American League shortstops in home runs (16), RBIs (57) and runs scored (58). He also ranked third in batting average (.318), trailing only fellow All-Stars Derek Jeter (.334) and Michael Young (.319).
"Miggy made the team. That's great," said Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo. "He seems like he's an every year guy. He deserves it. He swung the bat for us, knocked in some runs. We'd like to see Ramon come out of the other balloting, see if we cant get him in there, too."
Like Cal Ripken before him, Tejada is best known for his consecutive-games streak. He hasn't missed a game since May 31 of the 2000 season, and he's missed just 10 games during his nine-year career. Only six other players have reached 1,000 consecutive games, but Tejada would have to last another 10 years to catch Ripken.
"I'm happy. I just have to thank God for giving me the talent to be playing to this point every day," said Tejada on Saturday, when he met the milestone. "I don't worry about 1,000 games [or] 2,000 games. I just worry about one game at a time. I just play every day because I like to play baseball. That's why I want to be out there every day."
"That's the best part. I think that's something that makes me real proud, to see my family going and enjoying the All-Star Game," he said. "I'll watch [the Home Run Derby]. I am going to see it with my kids. I am going to enjoy it with them. No more Home Run Derby for me. I already have one, and that's it."
The Orioles had four All-Star representatives last year, when they played at the top of the American League East for most of the first half. This year, they only have one -- and potentially two, if Hernandez makes the cut -- but Perlozzo doesn't see it as an indictment of his team. Instead, he sees it as an indicator of the league's level of competition.
"I think they just look at the performance of our players," he said. "We've had some guys do fairly well but not necessarily outstanding. We've got some good players. Hopefully, we can get one or two more on there, somehow."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.