Furcal En Fuego
At first he thought of declining the invitation, but when it came down to it, Rafael Furcal took great pride in representing the Dodgers at the 81st All-Star Game. Just 30 miles down the 5 freeway at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, the site of the Midsummer Classic, Furcal found out immediately how fans felt about his being chosen to play in the game. He was the first Dodger introduced on the July 13 game, and the ovation was loud and long enough for him to doff his cap three times.
Those were well-deserved, as Furcal is one of baseball’s hottest players. In the 15 games before the All-Star break, Furcal hit a Major League-best .444 (28-for-63) and scored 21 runs. He kept it going after the break, getting three hits on July 19, the date when he gained enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. He led the NL with a .338 average after that game.
“I enjoyed sharing it with my sons, especially Raffy Jr.,” said Furcal. “He’s really into baseball. He even wanted to go catch fly balls during the Home Run Derby.”