07/04/2004 8:57 PM ET
Sheffield sets unique All-Star mark
Right fielder makes Midsummer Classic with fifth team
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
|Gary Sheffield has represented the Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves and Yankees. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
NEW YORK -- Gary Sheffield said Sunday that being chosen to represent the New York Yankees at the All-Star Game is very special. If anyone would know the difference between representing various teams, it's Sheffield.
Sheffield's 2004 All-Star selection, which came as a result of being chosen by his peers on the player ballot, is his eighth career appearance at the Midsummer Classic. While many players have gone to the All-Star Game more times than Sheffield, no one has ever gone for more teams than the 35-year-old.
Sheffield has represented the San Diego Padres (1992), the Florida Marlins (1993, '96), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2000), the Atlanta Braves (2003) and now the Yankees (2004).
In fact, the only franchise with which he played and did not make the All-Star team was the Milwaukee Brewers, who he came up with and played for from 1988-91.
"It's quite an honor doing it as a Yankee," Sheffield said. "It's easy to do it on expansion teams, when you're the only name on the team and they have to pick somebody. To do it on this team, that's an accomplishment."
Manager Joe Torre, who will be at the helm of the AL team in Houston, broke the good news to Sheffield before Sunday's game against the Mets.
"Sheffield was thrilled," Torre said.
Seven players have represented four teams as All-Stars during their careers, including Moises Alou (Expos, Marlins, Astros, Cubs) and Roger Clemens (Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Astros), who were both selected to this year's National League team.
The others to represent four teams during their careers are Roberto Alomar (Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians); Walker Cooper (Cardinals, Giants, Reds, Red Sox); Rich "Goose" Gossage (White Sox, Yankees, Pirates, Padres); George Kell (Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox, Orioles); and Lee Smith (Cubs, Cardinals, Orioles, Angels).
Sheffield has been playing with a sore shoulder, but he said Sunday that the injury shouldn't prevent him from playing in the All-Star Game.
"They have been doing this new tape job to stabilize it, not let me go as far as I want to go," Sheffield said. "I can swing the bat, and it's going to prevent me from going too far."
The only way he would skip the Midsummer Classic? If George Steinbrenner asked him to.
"That's up to the Boss," Sheffield said. "If he tells me to go on vacation, that's what I'm going to do. I'll honor his wishes."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.