Crede, Quentin realizing dreams
White Sox tandem excited for first All-Star experiences
NEW YORK -- For different reasons, the White Sox Joe Crede and Carlos Quentin didn't think they'd be on the 2008 American League All-Star team.
In Crede's case, he underwent season-ending back surgery last season and he's been involved in trade rumors over the past couple of years. Still, Crede, like Quentin, is a first-time All-Star, a reserve for the AL team.
"Yeah, I definitely thought there was a very good chance of me moving just from stuff that I heard from the papers," said Crede, the White Sox third baseman, who is hitting .256 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs. "It wasn't anything that I heard from [general manager Kenny Williams] or anything. It was just stuff that I heard in the papers.
"To be here in the All-Star Game being a part of the Chicago White Sox -- it's a great feeling for me, because this is the organization that gave me the opportunity to realize my dreams, and I've done a lot of special things in a White Sox uniform."
For Quentin, an outfielder batting .276 with 22 homers and 70 RBIs, he was traded last offseason from Arizona, where he didn't get a chance to play regularly because of the D-backs' outfield depth.
"I've always said I never envisioned this to happen this year," Quentin said. "I've always dreamed of and always set goals to make it to an event like this, just like every baseball player has."
Quentin is tied for the American League lead in home runs, and he's kept a steady offensive pace throughout the season for first-place Chicago. He said there was no specific point this year that he thought he was All-Star worthy.
Quentin wouldn't let himself get overconfident when he was doing well in the beginning of the season.
"I just put my head down and kept going," Quentin said. "We were winning games, and I was helping the team. Those were some of the goals I wanted to achieve."
Added Crede: "Carlos was a guy who had a bunch of good hits for us, whether they were early in the game or late in the game. He's a guy you move from down in the order to middle of the order to the three-hole for a reason: because he's getting those big hits. [Manager Ozzie Guillen] seemed to realize that right away and moved him up there, and it really showed."
Quentin said he's looking forward to watching the Home Run Derby and taking it all in, as he hadn't really reflected on his selection until he went into The Grand Hyatt in New York City on Monday afternoon for the All-Star Game press conferences.
He was impressed to see all the standout players, but he isn't one to approach many of them for a special request.
"I always feel weird to ask the guys for their autographs," Quentin said. "I'd love to, but I've never been a guy to go up to someone and ask for an autograph."
In Crede's case, he already knows what would make his first All-Star Game even more unique.
"Obviously, hit a home run to win the game," Crede said. "I think that's every kid's dream in the backyard. That would be the ultimate there."
Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.