California Still No. 1 in Baseball

There may be more and more players from countries outside the U.S. starring in Major League Baseball, but if this year's All-Star Game in Milwaukee is an indication there are still more top players than anywhere else in the world from the Golden State.

During the telecast of this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Milwaukee, Fox Sports put up a graphic to illustrate the many players who were picked to be there who are not from the United States.

Eight of the players present hail from the Dominican Republic, an impressive total indeed. But what about California? The Golden State boasted 14 former products in the game, still six more than any other country and way more than any other state. In fact, no other state in the country can claim more than three 2002 All-Stars (Florida had three and Texas two).

Here is a brief mention of the 14 Californians who were in Milwaukee and the high schools they attended:

Garrett Anderson OF (Kennedy, Granada Hills)

Anderson is in the midst of a terrific season for the Angels. He's from the same school as promising Chicago White Sox pitcher Jon Garland.

Barry Bonds OF (Serra, San Mateo)

We really liked the year in the All-Star Game when Barry followed Serra grads Jim Fregosi (the manager) and Gregg Jefferies (batted first) as the first three players introduced for the National League.

Robert Fick OF (Newbury Park)

Fick scored the tying run of the game for the American League, which turned out to be the last run of the game, too.

Nomar Garciaparra SS (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)

It's great to see Nomar bounce back from his injuries of last year. He also has been a great big brother to Michael, who was drafted last season out of nearby Don Bosco of Rosemead.

Jason Giambi 1B (South Hills, Covina)

It took the Oakland Athletics almost two months to finally get untracked with Jason no longer in their lineup.

Shawn Green OF (Tustin)

We clearly remember having a couple of phone conversations with Shawn's father around 1988-1989 when Shawn was starring for the Tillers and his dad subscribed to our newsletters.

Eddie Guardado P (Franklin, Stockton)

Eddie struck out both batters he faced in the game in Milwaukee and is on pace to be the top reliever this year in the American League.

Trevor Hoffman P (Savanna, Anaheim)

Hoffman has been a stud closer for the Padres for six straight seasons and shows no signs of slowing down.

Robb Nen P (Los Alamitos)

Giants' teammate J.T. Snow also went to Los Al, but hasn't had the same type of success of the last two seasons as Robb.

Jimmy Rollins SS (Encinal, Alameda)

With his two hits in the game and his continuing improvement as a fielder, hitter and base stealer, Jimmy has a chance to be the best infielder from the East Bay since Hall of Famer Joe Morgan (who went to Oakland Castlemont).

Mike Sweeney 1B (Ontario)

Mike's team went unbeaten when he was at Ontario and won its division in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Robin Ventura 3B (Righetti, Santa Maria)

Robin ranks with Mark Brunell of the NFL as among the best athletes ever from their town.

Randy Winn OF (San Ramon Valley, Danville)

When Randy was a senior on the SRV basketball team (he also played hoops for two seasons at Santa Clara), a sophomore at the school at the time was forward Mark Madsen (now of the Lakers).

Barry Zito P (University, San Diego)

Uni will probably have another all-star pitcher down the road in Mark Prior, now a rookie sensation with the Cubs.

CALIFORNIA ALL-STAR TEAM

If we were managing an all-star team and picked players solely from California high schools, this team might be just as good as either the National League or American League teams that played in Milwaukee. The starting pitching -- after Randy Johnson and Barry Zito -- might not be that great and the two catchers would have to each play more than the norm in an all-star game, but the rest of this 30-player team would definitely hold its own. We picked a roster based on the 14 who actually played in the game and by checking out season stat leaders on mlb.com.

Catchers

Jason Kendall (Torrance)

Mike Lieberthal (Westlake, Westlake Village)

Pitchers

Eddie Guardado (Franklin, Stockton)

Trevor Hoffman (Savanna, Anaheim)

Randy Johnson (Livermore)

Robb Nen (Los Alamitos)

Troy Percival (Moreno Valley)

Jeff Weaver (Simi Valley)

David Wells (Point Loma, San Diego)

Barry Zito (University, San Diego)

First Basemen

Jason Giambi (South Hills, Covina)

Ryan Klesko (Westminster)

Mike Sweeney (Ontario)

Second Basemen

Adam Kennedy (J.W. North, Riverside)

Jeff Kent (Edison, Huntington Beach)

Fernando Vina (Valley, Sacramento)

Shortstops

Nomar Garciaparra (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)

Jimmy Rollins (Encinal, Alameda)

Third Basemen

Eric Chavez (Mt. Carmel, San Diego)

Troy Glaus (Carlsbad)

Robin Ventura (Righetti, Santa Maria)

Outfielders

Garrett Anderson (Kennedy, Granada Hills)

Barry Bonds (Serra, San Mateo)

Pat Burrell (Bellarmine, San Jose)

Jim Edmonds (Diamond Bar)

Robert Fick (Newbury Park)

Brian Giles (Granite Hills, El Cajon)

Shawn Green (Tustin)

Jacque Jones (San Diego)

Randy Winn (San Ramon Valley, Danville)


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