The New York Yankees sent six players to Los Angeles for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game. Three of them were the usual suspects: Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton (who won All-Star Game MVP). Largely no-brainers.
Then you had Clay Holmes, who is arguably the best closer in the game right now thanks to a considerable ascension since coming over from the Pirates.
But even Holmes’ presence didn’t feel as special, underdog-like, or starstruck-y because of how dominant he’s been. That was reserved for catcher Jose Trevino and pitcher Nestor Cortes, who have had revered rises because of their unique styles of play and ebullient personalities. They brought the small market vibes from the biggest market known to man.
Holmes’ nod felt like business as usual, even though he only has one full season of success under his belt. And, sadly, for Holmes, he’s a scary guy that doesn’t generate viral clips. He’s gigantic, imposing, and largely devoid of emotion (did you see manager Aaron Boone tell him he made the All-Star team?!).
On the other hand, Trevino and Cortes have narratives/quirks outside of their play that make their All-Star selection even more admirable, notable and storybook-worthy. On top of that, their showing at the Midsummer Classic didn’t disappoint. They represented the Yankees as advertised and made the game that much more entertaining for everyone at home and in attendance.
And hopefully, Trevino and Cortes recruited a few more fans or silenced some of the excessive hate constantly directed at the franchise.
Jose Trevino and Nestor Cortes representing Yankees at All-Star Game was special
The two got to pair up in the sixth inning with Cortes on the mound and Trevino behind the plate! All the fans at home got to hear them strategize against a few hitters while Cortes also spoke to the broadcast. The lefty struck out two and induced a line out to center despite walking Pete Alonso and hitting Travis d’Arnaud with a pitch.
We got a little funky Nestor windup action, too!
How’s that for brand exposure? Nestor was already known for his unique delivery, but he had to showcase it on the biggest stage possible. From being released by the Orioles, traded by the Yankees, released by the Mariners, and re-signed by the Yankees, there’s no denying the novelty of this feel-good story.
Plus getting engaged during the All-Star break? Come on now.
And then there’s Trevino, who was largely wasted away in Texas and acquired in a trade with the Rangers shortly before Opening Day after the Yankees’ catching depth took a hit when Ben Rortvedt went down with an injury.
Trevino grew up a Yankee fan because of his father and saw his dream fulfilled in an unexpected trade. A few months later, he was an All-Star after failing to catch on for three-plus seasons in Texas.
He’s genuinely taken aback and consumed by the moment! Incredible. Then he talked about how putting on the pinstripes completely changes one’s approach for the better … after he got his first ever hit in the ASG.
Trevino’s had a Hollywood-type season thus far. From his rise to starting catcher for the Yankees, to logging walk-off hits on his father’s birthday (he passed away nine years ago) and his son’s fourth birthday, every moment of Trevino’s 2022 season has been delightful and heartwarming.
Speaking of his son, Cortes brought the little guy to LA to soak in the once-in-a-lifetime moment and the two wore matching suits.
Even Red Sox fans think that’s adorable.
More times than not, the Yankees have some of the game’s biggest stars, highest-paid names, or most polarized players representing them at the All-Star Game. This time, they had the perfect mix of that with a loud, much-needed dash of underdog and relatability to the average viewer.
And the clips/photo will live on forever to hopefully breed fewer and fewer Yankees haters.