Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eduardo Escobar was all smiles as he sat down to speak to the media Sunday afternoon. No one could blame him, as — for the first time in his career — he made the All-Star team.
Escobar, in his 11th season, is one of the few bright spots on the 2021 Diamondbacks. In 81 games, Escobar is batting .249/.296/.472 (77-for-309) with 11 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 54 RBI, 21 walks, and 41 runs scored. This has translated into a .329 wOBA and 4.3 wRAA. He will be a reserve on the National League squad.
About making the team, Escobar said, “I’m so happy. I’ve been working hard every year for this opportunity to go to the All-Star Game. Today is a special day for me, for my wife, for my family, and for my teammates. I represent Arizona, and I think that’s the most important (thing). (When I heard), I thanked my manager, my teammates, and my trainers.”
A Tough 2020 Campaign
Like many others, Escobar struggled mightily in 2020. In 54 games, he batted .212/.270/.335 with seven doubles, three triples, four home runs, 20 RBI, 15 walks, and 22 runs scored. His wOBA was .257, making for –11.8 wRAA. Escobar said it was a “tough year for me. I had a conversation with my manager and (general manager) Mike (Hazen) because I had a bad year. When something like that happens, I want to push harder. My trainer did a good job in the off-season, working hard. And look at (where I am) now. I want to continue to play hard every day, and I’m so happy, man. I did it.” He held back tears as he continued, “I’ve come back and (I’m) playing hard again.”
His family went through all of this with him, but his wife supported him through all of it. Consequently, and to no one’s surprise, his family was excited to hear the news. “They were crying,” Escobar said. “I’m going to be crying, too. Five more minutes, I’ll be crying. My wife works hard, taking care of (our children). She supports me, telling me every day, ‘You played hard every day, and you did it! I knew you could do it!’ She’s the lady to be in my life forever, because she pushes me a lot. Now that I’ve made the All-Star team, she’s celebrating, too.”
Eduardo Escobar Realizes a Lifelong Dream
In 2019, he did not make it despite a great season. “I had a chance to make it in 2018 with Minnesota, and then (again) in 2019. I felt really bad, because when you’re working really hard for something but don’t get it — I don’t have any control over that. But the third time’s a charm. You don’t understand how happy I am. Thanks to my family for the happiness I’m feeling with this. As I said — third time’s a charm.”
The All-Star Game has been a dream of Eduardo’s since he was a kid. When I started baseball, I saw it on TV. That’s the dream — All-Star Team, Gold Glove, World Series championship. I told (manager) Torey (Lovullo) and my teammates that it’s been my dream, and I love it. Playing hard every day, I don’t like a day off. Coming from a poor family in Venezuela, pushing hard for myself, and now I’m here in the big leagues (as an) All-Star. I give the glory to God all the time, give this moment to God. He is the one who pushed me, protected me, and blessed me a lot.”
Escobar heard the news through a team meeting held by Lovullo. There was a message on the whiteboard Saturday night that there was a team meeting Sunday. Lovullo said Sunday that the meeting was to announce the All-Stars. He said, “Eduardo Escobar. Congratulations.”
The All-Star Game will be Tuesday, July 13 at Coors Field in Denver. First pitch will be at 7:30 pm Eastern/4:30 Pacific, and the game will air live on Fox.
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