By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
A former Elon University baseball player will be in uniform for next week’s All-Star Game.
Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby, who was a 2019 first-round draft pick out of Elon, was added to Tuesday night’s All-Star Game on the American League roster as a replacement player. The game will be in Seattle.
There hasn’t been a former Elon player in the All-Star Game since Tom Brewer of the Boston Red Sox in 1956.
“George is killing it,” former Elon player Cam Devanney, an infielder with the Triple-A Nashville Sound, said earlier this spring.
Kirby holds a 7-7 record and 3.21 earned run average this year. He has 86 strikeouts with just nine walks in 101 innings. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning last Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Former Elon teammate Ty Adcock made his big-league debut, also with the Mariners, on June 12. He’s a reliever and another member of the 2019 draft class.
Elon has several ex-players who’ve been closing in on the major leagues. Devanney, who’s in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and pitcher Kyle Brnovich, who’s on a rehabilitation assignment in the Baltimore Orioles system with the expectation that he’ll soon join the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, were both 2019 draftees.
Pitcher Ryan Conroy, a 2018 draftee out of Elon, was with Norfolk earlier this spring.
“It has been really cool. Elon is a smaller school,” Devanney said. “This is kind of unusual for guys from schools like that.”
Kirby had a splendid three-year career at Elon before making a rapid rise through the professional ranks. He was the Pitcher of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2019 and as the 20th selection overall in that year’s draft became the highest pick in the history of Elon’s program.
His major-league debut came in May 2022.
Elon had a different kind of presence in the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston. Elon alum and current Elon resident Jack McKeon was manager for the National League team after leading the Florida Marlins to the World Series title in the fall of 2003.