Top Colorado Rockies All-Star Performances: #8 - Brad Hawpe Robbed by Carl Crawford

For a four-year stretch from 2006-09, Brad Hawpe was arguably the Rockies' most consistent player. In the final year of that stretch, his .320/.396/.577 line through the first half of the season earned him a place on the National League All-Star team - the first (and only, to this point) such distinction of his career. Hence, he would travel to St. Louis to represent the Rockies in the 80th annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Hawpe's only teammate that was selected, pitcher Jason Marquis, did not get a chance to pitch in the game, so Brad would wind up being the only Rockie to see action in the game. He entered in the top of the fifth inning, replacing Raul Ibanez in left field, and finally got his first ASG at-bat to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. It wouldn't be easy, as American League manager Joe Girardi sent Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in to pitch.

Going up there just looking to hit the first fastball he saw, Hawpe got a center-cut one from Papelbon and put the barrel on it - driving it hard to the opposite field in the process. Off the bat, you knew it had a chance, but homering to the opposite field is no easy task in a place like Busch Stadium. Meanwhile, American League left-fielder Carl Crawford was able to get under the ball due to how long it stayed in the air. Finding himself at the wall, he timed his leap perfectly and, just like that, robbed what would have been a sure home run into the left field bullpen from Hawpe. Brad was unaware of how close he came to a home run until seeing the replay in the clubhouse following the game.

"I don't know if that makes it feel better or worse. Heck of a catch ... what a play he made."

That catch, combined with a base hit that indirectly lead to an AL run (Crawford was out at second on a fielder's choice off the bat of Derek Jeter, but Jeter wound up scoring), earned Crawford All-Star Game MVP honors. Hawpe, meanwhile, struck out in his second (and final) at-bat, which came against Mariano Rivera with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Brad Hawpe went on to have a dreadful second half for a Rockies team that ended up making the playoffs. Hawpe's struggles continued in 2010, where he dealt with injuries and posted a sub-.800 OPS for the first time in his career. The Rockies released Hawpe on August 26th of that year, and he was picked up by Tampa Bay. After finishing out the season with the Rays (and, oddly enough, new teammate Carl Crawford), Brad signed with the Padres before the 2011 season and has spent this year mired in mediocrity.

Crawford, meanwhile, signed a huge 7-year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox and has began to find his footing after a rough start to the season. Score another one for Carl.

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