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Loaiza named AL All-Star
07/04/2004  7:00 PM ET
CHICAGO -- When White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pulled aside Esteban Loaiza shortly after he arrived in the cramped visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Sunday, his immediate first thought was that the South Siders had pulled off another major trade.

Maybe the move even involved him.

"Ozzie told me he needed to talk to me, and I didn't know what was going on," said a smiling Loaiza. "I thought something really important was going to happen."

There was no trade, but the news held great importance, as Loaiza surmised. It was especially significant for the 32-year-old right-hander. Loaiza learned that he was selected to his second straight All-Star Game and second of his career, serving as the lone representative for the first-place White Sox.

   Esteban Loaiza  /   P
Born: 12/31/71
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

It has been quite a ride for Loaiza since arriving in Chicago. He started as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training of 2003 and ended up on the cover of the team's Year in Review and 2004 media guide.

A trip to the 2003 All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field was never in doubt for Loaiza. Not with an 11-5 record and 2.21 ERA at the break. The only question was whether Loaiza would get the start in front of the home faithful.

This year's selection came as a complete surprise to the veteran hurler.

"I actually told Ozzie, 'How did I do that?'" said Loaiza with a laugh, talking about his reaction to Guillen's news. "And he said, 'Well, I don't know. That's what I told them.'

"I'm really happy. I don' know who voted me in, but thank you very much. I'm really happy, but I'm also really shocked."