Five to give MLB All-Star Game an Appleton flavor

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | July 5, 2009 4:16 PM

GRAND CHUTE, WI - Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis on Sunday. There are five players with ties to Appleton baseball - Raul Ibanez, Ryan Franklin, Brian Fuentes, Felix Hernandez, and Adam Jones - who were selected to play in the game on July 14.

Ibanez played for the Appleton Foxes in 1993 and 1994. The Philadelphia Phillies outfielder was elected by the fans to be a starting outfielder for the National League after a torrid start with 22 homers and 59 RBI in 62 games this season. Ibanez appeared in 143 games over two seasons with the Foxes, hit 12 homers, and drove in 80 runs with a .300 batting average.

Ryan Franklin was a member of that 1994 Foxes team with Ibanez and he is now teammates with Ibanez on the 2009 National League All-Star team. Franklin, who started 18 games and went 9-6 with an ERA of 3.13 with the Foxes, has been closing for the St. Louis Cardinals and has 20 saves in 21 opportunities this season.

Fuentes, Hernandez, and Jones are Timber Rattlers alumnae who will be suiting up for the American League All-Stars.

Fuentes - like Franklin - was a starting pitcher during his time in Appleton. He was 6-7 with a 3.56ERA in 22 starts with the Timber Rattlers in 1997. Fuentes - like Franklin - has made the MLB All-Star game as the closer. The closer for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is tied for the Major League lead in the saves with 23.

Hernandez started two games for the Timber Rattlers at the end of the 2003 season. He had no record in those starts, but struck out 18 opponents in 14 innings. In 2009 with the Seattle Mariners, Hernandez is 8-3 with a 2.62ERA. Also, he is fourth in the American League in strikeouts with 114 K's.

Jones played 130 games with the Timber Rattlers in 2004 and hit 11 homers with 72 RBI. Jones is hitting .301 and has 12 homers and 44 RBI with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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