Josh Harrison scores ahead of the tag by Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp during the third inning in Pittsburgh on Sunday, July 6, 2014. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Josh Harrison had the easy part. All he had to do was make the National League All-Star team as a utilityman against overwhelming odds. That was nothing compared with what his parents, Vince Sr. and Bonita, of Forest Park, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, had to face Sunday after learning of his selection to the All-Star Game July 15 in Minnesota. They were in Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates' 6-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies and learned of the big news from their son before the game. They had to keep it a secret for more than seven hours, per the request of Major League Baseball, which didn't want anyone to upstage its "All-Star Selection Show" Sunday night on ESPN.
Put yourself in the Harrisons' shoes for a second. Your son has just received one of the highest honors in his occupation and you can't scream to the world about it? How cruel.
OK, delightfully cruel.
"They were excited," Harrison said, grinning.
Harrison's amazing story just keeps getting better and better. It took this latest surreal twist when he was picked as a reserve for the National League team. He doesn't have a regular position with the Pirates, but he will be at Target Field with baseball's brightest stars, the Andrew McCutchens, Miguel Cabreras, Clayton Kershaws and Mike Trouts. Just like them, he will be known as an All-Star for eternity.
"You definitely appreciate it because it lets you know the work that you've done has not gone unnoticed," Harrison said.
No one on the Pirates has worked harder than Harrison. Perhaps no position player but McCutchen has meant more to a team that has gone 37-23 after a 10-18 start to climb into second place in the National League Central Division, just 4½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates went 8-2 on the homestand against the New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phillies and have won six consecutive series.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/ron-cook/2014/07/07/Ron-Cook-Josh-Harrison-in-heyday-as-All-Star-utilityman/stories/201407070077#ixzz36mLrnGRQ