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Manny Machado not traveling lightly in first trip to All-Star Game

NEW YORK -- Manny Machado is hoping this isn’t his last All-Star Game. But if it is, it’s an experience the Orioles’ 21-year-old third baseman and his family won’t ever forget.

That’s because Machado brought his mother, grandmother, sister, uncle, nephew and fiancée to All-Star week.

“It’s something you need to share with the people who helped you throughout the years,” Machado said.

Machado also invited Frank Valdez, a former pro ballplayer who runs a baseball clinic in Miami, to be his guest.

“He’s helped me a lot last couple of years,” Machado said of Valdez. “I won’t say I couldn’t have gotten here without him, but he has helped me a lot, hitting-wise fielding-wise.”

Valdez was in the American League clubhouse before Tuesday’s game, wearing a Machado, AL jersey and hat.

“It’s very special for me. It’s the first time I have seen an All Star game live,” Valdez said. “I had a clue that he was going to be picked, so we talked way before anything happened about [me] coming here. It means a lot.”

Around the horn

The Earl Weaver commemorative patch on the Orioles’ uniforms was moved to the left side of the players’ chests to make room for an All-Star patch on the right sleeve. ... The Orioles’ five lockers in the visiting clubhouse were clustered together, with Chris Tillman on one end and Machado on the other. Tillman’s locker was also next to former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander’s and Machado’s was next to Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s. … Toronto Blue Jays left-handed reliever Brett Cecil became just the third University of Maryland alum to make an All-Star roster, joining lefty Eric Milton (2001) and outfielder Charlie Keller (1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947). ... The BBWAA announced its three finalists for the 2014 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing, which will be honored at next year’s Hall of Fame celebration in Cooperstown, N.Y. They are: essayist and author Roger Angell, former Los Angeles Herald-Examiner columnist Melvin Durslag and late Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Furman Bisher.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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