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Wilson gets All-Star taste in debut
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07/14/2004 12:11 AM ET
Wilson gets All-Star taste in debut
Shortstop goes 0-for-2 with flawless effort in the field
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Jack Wilson flies out during the ninth inning of the 75th All-Star Game Tuesday. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
HOUSTON -- Shortstop Jack Wilson, the Pirates' only All-Star Game representative, got a full induction in his first appearance.

Wilson played the last four innings after replacing the starter, Edgar Renteria of the Cardinals.

"I got some innings and I was pretty happy," Wilson said. "I didn't think I'd be in there that long."

In two at-bats, Wilson flied out against Blue Jays left-hander Ted Lilly and then popped out in the ninth against right-hander Mariano Rivera before the Yankees' reliever closed out the American League's 9-4 victory.

"My plays were pretty much routine, a ground ball to start a double play and a popup. I was glad to get the two at-bats," Wilson said. "I was a little nervous. I felt like a rookie again."

Wilson got a big endorsement before the game from National League manager Jack McKeon.

2004 All-Star Game

"I was just thrilled when he was selected by the players because I had him on my original list," McKeon said. "He deserved to be on this All-Star team.

"You see so many youngsters out there playing their hearts out and having good years," McKeon said. "Sometimes it's an unfortunate situation where somebody is having a greater year than them, and they get bumped.

"In this particular case, he was the one guy of the young players that really deserved to be on the All-Star team," the Marlin's manager said.

Wilson was flattered that McKeon thinks so highly of him.

"When you're not in the same division, you don't see people that much. I didn't meet him until a week before the game," Wilson said.

"He came up and gave me hugs and told me congratulations."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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