WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Baseball’s biggest names are in Washington this week for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and two of the players in attendance are reminiscing about their days playing in the Last Frontier.
Aaron Judge says playing top caliber competition in Alaska helped him progress.
The Alaska Baseball League is having a distant impact on the All-Star Game being played at Nationals Park. The Glacier Pilots and Anchorage Bucs played vital roles in the development of New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
“Going fishing and doing all that fun stuff and being in the wilderness...but definitely getting those at-bats everyday, playing against some really good players, playing with a wood bat, being far away from home that emotional development,” said Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt is no stranger to the All-Star game, participating in his sixth game this year in Washington. He recommends the Alaska Baseball League highly to all up-and-coming players, calling it a unique venue to play great baseball. His fellow ABL alumnus Aaron Judge is participating in his second All-Star game in his second year in the league. Judge says he had trouble sleeping at first in the Last Frontier.
“(It was hard) Trying to sleep when the sun’s still up,” said Judge.
But he eventually found the summer productive for his career.
“(You) Play the best of the best...it was a great, kind of, stepping stone for me,” said Judge.
Judge and Goldschmidt were both selected to start this year’s All-Star Game. After that they’ll have a couple days off, maybe some time to sleep, before the regular season resumes later this week.