BERKELEY – San Diego Padre right-hander Tyson Ross, a standout pitcher at Cal from 2006-08, joins an elite group of Golden Bears as he will become only the sixth Cal baseball player in school history to compete in the Major League All-Star Game when he takes the mound Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis (home of the Minnesota Twins).
“I couldn’t be happier for Tyson,” said Cal baseball coach David Esquer. “He is not only one of the best players our program has ever produced, he is one of its best individuals. I am proud of our strong tradition of Major League players coming from our University, and now Tyson is among the best of the best in professional baseball.”
Ross is the second Cal player mentored by Esquer to become a Major League All-Star, following in the footsteps of former Bear slugger Allen Craig of the St. Louis Cardinals, who was an MLB All-Star in 2013 and helped St. Louis to the World Series title in 2011.
Ross’ name is now etched among the all-time Bear greats who went on to play in MLB’s showcase game. The first Cal player to go on to be a Big League All-Star was outfielder Sam Chapman (1935-37), who competed in the 1946 All-Star Game for the Philadelphia Athletics. Legendary Jackie Jensen (1947-49) competed in three All-Star Games as an outfielder – in 1952 for the Washington Senators and in 1955 and 1958 for the Boston Red Sox.
Talented right-hander Andy Messerschmidt (1965-66) played in four All-Star Games – in 1971 for the California Angels, in 1974 and 1975 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in 1976 for the Atlanta Braves. Besides Ross and Craig, the most recent Bear to play in the All-Star Game was second baseman Jeff Kent, who was an All-Star with the San Francisco Giants from 1999-2001, an All-Star with Houston in 2004 and with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005.
Ross, 27, is making his first career trip to the All-Star Game in what is his fifth Major League season. The right-hander is the 10th starting pitcher in San Diego history to be named an All-Star. Ross is currently 7-9 with a 2.93 ERA and has 117 strikeouts in a team-high 122.2 innings. He has 10 starts this season with 6.0 innings or more pitched, including throwing his first Major League shutout with a complete-game, nine strikeout outing July 2 versus Cincinnati.
A second round pick (58th overall) by the Oakland A’s in 2008, Ross was 7-4 with 4.25 ERA in 12 starts as a junior at Cal, striking out 66 batters in 78.1 innings. He was named first-team All-Pac-10 for the second year in a row and was twice selected as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week - February 26 when he one-hit Kansas State, and April 1 after defeating No. 5-ranked Long Beach State (8.0 innings, five hits, no runs, two walks, six strikeouts). Ross had an outstanding 2007 summer season with the USA National Team, finishing 4-1 with a 0.82 ERA, striking out 39 batters with only seven walks in 43.2 innings.
On March 25, 2007 during his sophomore season, Ross was picked as the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after striking out 16 batters (three away from the school record of 19 set by Larry Colton in 1963) with only one walk in 7.0 innings against Oral Roberts. He was noted for fielding as well, winning the 2007 Rawlings Gold Glove award as the nation's best fielding pitcher. For his career, Ross had 271 strikeouts (third on Cal's career list) in 278.2 innings with 19 wins and a 3.20 career ERA.