Alternate from Detroit is named MVP in baseball all star game at Comerica
Detroit– Anthony Gutierrez of Detroit Western was not supposed to play in the 34th annual East/West high school all-star game on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Gutierrez replaced Nick Plummer, the outfielder from Birmingham Brother Rice who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 23rd overall pick in Major League Baseball Amateur Draft and who was named Mr. Baseball by the coaches association.
Instead, Gutierrez, a first baseman, made the most of his opportunity and batted in two runs to lead the East to a 4-3 victory. Gutierrez was named the most valuable player for the East All Stars.
The game was tied 1-1 in the sixth inning when Chandler Sedat of West Bloomfield had an RBI double that brought in his high school teammate, Robbie Jones, who reached base on a walk.
Gutierrez took his first at bat that inning and scored Sedat with a single to give East a 3-1 lead.
“I was just looking to help out my team,” Gutierrez said. “It’s unexplainable. Coming from the Southwest side of Detroit, it’s a blessing for me to be here.”
West tied the game in the top of the eighth, but Gutierrez brought in the winning run on another RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
Jones and Sedat felt fortunate to play at the place they grew up watching major league games.
“It’s amazing to play in this game with this caliber of people, then let alone you’re on this amazing field where you’ve grown up your whole life watching all the big leaguers play so it’s really nice,” Jones said.
Bryce Windham from Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central took home the most valuable player honors for the West. Although he couldn’t lead his team to a victory, he cherished the experience.
“It’s kind of like getting to know, making new friends and at first it’s like lackadaisical out here just having fun laughing, but once you get around to the end it’s like you want to win so it’s competitive but fun, relaxing at the same time,” Windham said. “That bottom of the ninth I took that time to soak it in and just relax and think about all the great players that have played here before me; so just an overall great experience to be here.”
Gutierrez got the call that he was going to be featured in the game about a week ago when it was apparent Plummer would not be able to participate because of his commitment to the Cardinals.
“I’m honored to be here,” Gutierrez said. “My emotions right now are out of control. Just to do it for my family and the city that I come from, my family and friends are all here to support me, and I just wanted to do it for them and the city I come from.”