Elias Diaz hits winning HR in first All-Star Game at-bat, claims MVP honors

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Elias Diaz hits winning HR in first All-Star Game at-bat, claims MVP honors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Talk about a debut to remember.

Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz stepped up to the plate during the top of the eighth inning with the National League trailing 2-1 in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.

It marked the 32-year-old’s first appearance in the annual event, and he capped it off to perfection.

Facing a 2-2 count with no outs, Diaz homered off Baltimore Orioles’ Felix Bautista to give the NL the lead as Nick Castellanos ran home from second.

Neither side scored from there, which paved the way for Diaz to make history on multiple fronts at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners.

Thanks to his heroics, the Venezuelan native took home the All-Star Game MVP award. He became the first player in Rockies franchise history to do so, and he also helped end a significant drought.



The National League had not won the annual event in nine years. The last victory came in 2012 in Kansas City, when the NL shut out the American League 8-0. For context, Melky Cabrera (San Francisco Giants) won MVP while Matt Cain (Giants) was the winning pitcher.

There was no All-Star Game in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking after the game, Diaz got emotional discussing his game-winning play when he mentioned his mother was in attendance to witness the moment live.

“It was incredibly special for me to have her here,” Diaz said in an on-field interview with FOX. “A lot of emotions with everything that we’ve been through, all the sacrifices that she made for me.”



Coincidentally, Diaz wasn’t the first player – or a Diaz – on the night to hit a home run in their first ever All-Star at-bat. Yandy Diaz of the Tampa Bay Rays had opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo homer to left field.

Twenty-four players in total have launched a homer in their first All-Star Game at-bat, including the Diaz duo.

Elias, who made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015, has appeared in 80 games thus far with Colorado this season, logging 77 hits, 27 runs, 45 RBIs and nine homers in 278 at-bats. His batting average is .277.

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