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Counting down Ranger All Star performances -- #10, Kevin Brown

Today starts a series of posts leading up to the All Star Game, in which we'll look at the ten greatest All Star performances in Ranger history.

One'll note as we go forward that this countdown is heavily skewed towards the last 20 years or so.  This isn't because I ignore the earlier years.  Rather, this is due to the fact that, for the first half of the Rangers' team history, the team's All Stars didn't do much in the actual games.

Anyway, we now move on to the #10 Ranger performance in All Star history:  Kevin Brown, in the 1992 All Star Game

In 1992, Kevin Brown had a terrific year for the Texas Rangers, leading the league in wins (21) and innings pitched (265.2) while posting a 3.32 ERA.  His strong start to the season resulted in A.L. Manager Tom Kelly naming Brown as the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1992 All Star Game, played on July 14, 1992, at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.

I remember watching this game, and the thing I most remember about Brown's performance was that he struck out.  Why was a pitcher allowed to bat in the All Star Game, you may ask?  Because the A.L. All Stars batted around in the first against N.L. starter Tom Glavine.  After Robbie Alomar grounded out to start the game, seven straight American League All Stars singled (the N.L. recorded its second out when Cal Ripken, Jr. was thrown out trying to advance to second on his single).  

That meant Brown came to the plate in the top of the first...and with Brown having not thrown a pitch yet, Tom Kelly decided to let him swing, despite his pre-game vow that he'd pinch hit for the pitcher's spot each time around.

Brown K'd to end the inning, then went out in the bottom of the first and recorded a 1-2-3 inning.  Brown struck out N.L. leadoff hitter Ozzie Smith,* then retired Tony Gwynn and Barry Bonds on fly balls to left fielder Kirby Puckett.  Brown was lifted for Chicago ace Jack McDowell for the second inning, but his 3 up, 3 down performance with a 4-0 lead was enough for Brown to be named the winning pitcher in the 13-6 A.L. victory.

*  Yes, the 37 year old Wizard of Oz was hitting leadoff in the All Star Game.  Ryne Sandberg, who had posted 853, 913 and 865 OPSs the previous three years, and had an 821 OPS in the first half of 1992, hit 7th.  Take it up with N.L. Manager Bobby Cox.