Though his tenure in Aberdeen was brief at just seven games, Manny Machado, the Baltimore Orioles' 21-year-old third baseman, is the first IronBirds alumnus to be selected for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Machado, who came to Aberdeen in August 2010 after being picked by Baltimore in the first round of that year's MLB draft, was named as a reserve third baseman for the American League side on Saturday, July 6, which was also his 21st birthday.
The current Major League leader in doubles with 39, Machado, the third overall selection in 2010, kicked off his professional career in the Gulf Coast League, where he played a pair of games with the Orioles' affiliate there, then reported to Ripken Stadium for a night game on Aug. 30. In his IronBirds debut, Machado was 1-for-3 with a single. In Aberdeen that night was Orioles' manager Buck Showalter, who took advantage of an off-day in his team's schedule to come view the teenager who would become his starting third baseman.
Playing at shortstop and as a designated hitter, Machado played in seven of Aberdeen's games that season, batting .345 in 29 at-bats with a triple, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored.
The 2011 season saw Machado start with the Delmarva Shorebirds in Class A, then move to Frederick Keys in Class A Advanced. In 2012, he played 109 games with the Class AA Bowie Baysox before being called up to the major leagues in August. He has not been back to the minors since.
Machado's teammate, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, had a much longer stint with the IronBirds, playing 59 games for Aberdeen in 2003; he has not yet been selected for the All-Star game in his eight year major-league career.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, an American League All-Star in 2011 and 2012, is listed on the IronBirds' all-time roster, but he did not play any games with Aberdeen, instead starting the 2008 season with Frederick.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun