Danville’s own Joe Mantiply humbled by MLB All-Star game selection
DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - At this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Southwest Virginia will have someone playing for the “home” team.
“I’m from Danville, small town,” says 2022 MLB All-Star Joe Mantiply. “I couldn’t be happier to get this honor and represent my home state of Virginia and the Diamondbacks.”
The southpaw has been chosen for the National League All-Star team to represent Arizona. For Mantiply, it’s a moment that’s been years in the making.
After playing at Tunstall High School and Virginia Tech, he was drafted three times in rounds that no longer exist in the current draft structure. During his journey, he was part of the Tigers, Reds, and Yankees franchises.
“A couple of different organizations gave up on him, and luckily he landed in ours,” said Diamondback manager Torey Lovullo when he announced the selection to the team.
Mantiply also had Tommy John surgery on his arm in 2018.
“Those experiences really taught me if I really wanted to do it or not,” he explains. “There were definitely times when I could have thrown in the hat, but thanks to my support system, my family kept pushing me. In this game there are a lot of things outside your control. I always believed in myself.”
His coaches believed in him too.
“When he was getting ready to go to Spring Training, he seemed like he had the mindset that ‘Hey I know I belong and I’m going to have a great year,’” added Barry Shelton, his coach at Tunstall High School.
So far this season, Mantiply is tossing a 2.31 ERA and owns the MLB record for most consecutive appearances by a left-handed pitcher without a walk.
“This honor is something you always dream of but it’s hard to think that you’re going to be able to do that. I’m almost just kind of speechless still,” he says.
As Mantiply packs his glove for Hollywood, he’s excited to share the experience with his family-
Taking pride in the name on his back, and on his chest.
“Those are the guys who have your back the most throughout the year, and to have people excited for me to get this honor, it means the world. Some of my best friends are in that room so being able to represent them (and) past teammates that I’ve played with that aren’t playing anymore. There’s a lot of us that I played with that are kind of late round picks, for me I’m trying to represent those guys as well.”
The 2022 MLB All-Star Game is Tuesday night at 8 in Los Angeles.
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