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First All-Star Game for Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez is unforgettable

By Paul Hoynes • Jul 12, 2017 at 12:30 PM

MIAMI — Jose Ramirez said he'll never forget his first All-Star Game. Nor should he.

Not only did Ramirez start at third base, but he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base as the American League beat the National League, 2-1, in 10 innings at Marlins Park.

"I feel so happy. It was a blessing by God," said Ramirez. "I wasn't nervous at all. I was comfortable. I'm someone who just tries to play my game."

Ramirez, the first Indians' player to start in an All-Star game since Juan Gonzalez in 2001, turned the first pitch he saw into a sharp single to right field off Washington's Max Scherzer. He singled again in his second at-bat and stole second in the third inning.

He had long since been removed from the game when the AL finally won it as Robinson Cano hit a leadoff homer in the 10th and Andrew Miller, Ramirez's teammate, saved the win in the bottom of the 10th.

"It was something that was really special and really beautiful for me," said Ramirez, regarding the AL victory. "And I'm going to remember it forever."

Ramirez mother, father, brother and two friends made the trip from the Dominican Republic to watch him play. Indians fans, with a strong late push in online balloting, voted Ramirez into the starting lineup.

"I am really thankful to all the fans in Cleveland who just always support me," said Ramirez. "And I'm just very happy that my family and everyone got to see it."

Ramirez is hitting .332 (109-for-328) with 27 doubles, 17 homers and 48 RBI this season. He has the second highest average in the AL and third best OPS at .989.

"What was Jose, 2-for-2 with a stolen base?" said teammate Michael Brantley. "He had a perfect night.

Ramirez is just the second Indians' player to get two hits and steal a base in the All-Star Game. Kenny Lofton did it in 1996. The only other Indians with two or more hits in an All-Star Game are Carlos Baerga (three in 1995), Sandy Alomar (two in 1990), Bobby Avila (three in 1954), Al Rosen (three in 1954), Larry Doby (two in 1950) and Earl Averill (two in 1934).

If this was Ramirez's coming out party to the baseball world -- if it was they must have missed last season -- what he did Tuesday night is a regular occurrence for Indians' fan.

"I think those of us in Cleveland are the least shocked of anybody," said Miller. "His swagger and his excitement for this game. I think when we saw those hits, we all just kind of rolled our eyes and said, 'Of course, if there is anybody that's going to go out there and back it up, it's him."

Before the All-Star break, Ramirez had a spell of ill-advised baserunning. In the span of two games, he made the third out two at home and once at third. After the second game, Ramirez said he was over caffeinated.

"I drank too much coffee and it made me crazy," he said.

Before the All-Star Game he limited himself to two cups. But that did not stop his helmet from flying off when he stole second base.

"That's not surprising. It's kind of normal for me," said Ramirez.

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