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Harvey relishes experience
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07/14/2004 12:36 AM ET
Harvey relishes experience
Royals first baseman enjoyed his time in Houston
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
HOUSTON -- The stage couldn't have been set any better for Ken Harvey in his All-Star Game debut.

The 26-year-old Kansas City Royals first baseman, the only representative from his club at the 75th Midsummer Classic in Minute Maid Park, didn't start the game but was given a pretty sweet opportunity to make his mark on it.

In the top of the third inning, with the American League already up, 6-1, and Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Randy Johnson on the mound, the bottom portion of the lineup got a bit of a rally going.

Jason Giambi shot a single up the middle, Derek Jeter singled to right and Alfonso Soriano singled into left field to load the bases.

2004 All-Star Game

AL starter Mark Mulder was the next hitter at No. 9, but manager Joe Torre decided to get a big right-handed bat into the situation and called on Harvey in a pinch-hitting situation.

It seemed like a good move.

Harvey earned selection into the All-Star Game by having a very solid first half, including a .305 batting average, 10 homers and 34 RBIs. Also intriguing was the fact that Harvey was 1-for-3 in his career against the Big Unit.

Harvey's at-bat had a promising start. He took two pitches and got ahead to a 2-and-0 count.

But it went downhill from there relatively quickly, with Johnson getting Harvey to foul off the next pitch, a fastball right down the middle.

"That was my cookie," Harvey said. "I got my cookie right there and I missed it. And that's the name of the game."

On the next pitch, Johnson got a called strike two with a fastball that Harvey said he thought was low.

"It was a little down, but that's Randy Johnson," Harvey said. "That's the way it's going to be."

Johnson then struck Harvey out swinging with a slider, ending Harvey's first All-Star Game.

He never got a chance to play in the field, with Torre sticking with Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, who was voted in as a starter.

But despite the not-so-pleasant statistical side of the evening, Harvey said he had a great time.

"I'm just happy to be here," Harvey said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. I was a fan this weekend, but I just got a better experience than the ones in the seats.

"I got to talk to all these great players, and they all told me that I deserved to be here. That's a special feeling. It's something I won't forget."

Doug Miller 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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