Counting down Ranger All Star performances -- #3, Julio Franco

As we continue to go over the most memorable All Star Game performances in Texas Ranger history, today we look at the #3 performance, Julio Franco in the 1990 game.

The 1990 All Star Game was played on July 10, 1990, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  1990 was Julio Franco's second year as a Texas Ranger.  Franco had been part of two huge trades, first being sent, along with Manny Trillo, Jay Baller, George Vukovich, and Jerry Willard, from Philadelphia to the Cleveland Indians for Von Hayes in December, 1982, and then, almost exactly six years later, going from Cleveland to Texas for Jerry Browne, Pete O'Brien, and Oddibe McDowell.

Franco, who started off his career as a shortstop, moved to second base in his final year in Cleveland, and was named to the All Star team as a second baseman in 1989, 1990 and 1991.  Franco was the only Ranger named to the 1990 All Star team, where he was backing up Steve Sax at second base.  

Franco entered the game in the top of the fifth, pinch-hitting for pitcher Dave Steib and facing New York Mets starter Frank Viola with no one on and two outs in the inning and neither team having scored a run.  Viola made quick work of Franco, getting him on a grounder to short, but Franco stayed in the game as part of a double-switch, replacing Sax in the field.

The A.L. had a rally going in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs before Cecil Fielder flied out against Jeff Brantley, and when the top of the seventh rolled around, the game was still scoreless.

Sandy Alomar, Jr., and pinch hitter Lance Parrish each singled off of Brantley to start the inning, and with runners on first and third and no one out, N.L. manager Roger Craig went to the bullpen to bring in fireballing Reds reliever Rob Dibble.  Franco, who never saw a fastball he didn't think he could hit, greeted Dibble with a double to right field, driving home both runners and giving the A.L. a 2-0 lead.  Franco advanced to third on a ground out and attempted to score on a Jose Canseco flyball to right field, but was gunned down at the plate by Darryl Strawberry.

Franco had another at bat in the game, and had the opportunity to blow the game wide open, facing Randy Myers with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 8th, but he flew out to right field to end the inning.

Still, it didn't matter...the A.L. pitchers shut down the National League batters, and Franco's two RBI double brought home the only two runs of the game as the American League prevailed, 2-0.

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