Storybook Season Has an All-Star Chapter : Baseball: Not even on the ballot, Sharperson is added as a reserve player and is the only Dodger on the NL team.


Mike Sharperson was lying in bed, resting his strained right groin early Thursday afternoon when the phone rang.

Moments later, he was leaping down the stairs and exchanging high-fives with wife Diane.

“Suddenly, there was no more pain,” Sharperson said.

His excitement came from the news that he had been named to the 1992 National League All-Star team as a reserve second baseman.


Sharperson was picked as the lone Dodger representative, along with 19 other reserves and pitchers for Tuesday’s game in San Diego.

Sharperson, batting .330 in a platoon role for most of the first half of the season, joins Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros as a backup second baseman.

Other reserve infielders include first basemen Will Clark of the San Francisco Giants and John Kruk of the Philadelphia Phillies, and shortstop Tony Fernandez and third baseman Gary Sheffield of the San Diego Padres.

Including starters Fred McGriff, Benito Santiago and Tony Gwynn, the host Padres will have five representatives, the most of any team.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Sheffield, a Milwaukee Brewer castoff who has been among the league leaders in home runs and runs batted in throughout the first half of the season. “No matter what happens the rest of my career, I can always say I’m an All-Star.”

The reserve outfielders will be Ron Gant of the Atlanta Braves, Bip Roberts of the Cincinnati Reds and Larry Walker of the Montreal Expos.

Gant is one of four Braves who will be joining Manager Bobby Cox. Besides starting third baseman Terry Pendleton, the Braves will be represented by pitchers Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

Glavine, who leads the league with 13 victories, probably will start for the second consecutive year. Pitchers joining him, besides Smoltz, will be Norm Charlton of the Reds, David Cone of the New York Mets, Doug Jones of the Astros, Dennis Martinez of the Expos, Greg Maddux of the Chicago Cubs and Bob Tewksbury of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Of all the reserves, none will have more experience sitting on the bench than Sharperson, whose 194 at-bats are the fewest among the All-Stars, except for Santiago, who has spent more than a month on the disabled list.

Sharperson was in danger of losing his platoon role this spring when he arrived at Vero Beach more than 15 pounds overweight.

He was not on the All-Star ballot and did not even play in the first two games of the season, because the Dodgers were facing right-handed pitchers.

But he reached base in his first three plate appearances of the year--two hits and a walk against the Padres--and he has barely slowed.

Because of Juan Samuel’s hand injury and subsequent ineffectiveness, Sharperson was given a chance to play every day last month and has taken advantage of it.

He already has a personal-best 15 doubles and is tied for second on the team with 27 runs batted in. He has struck out only 17 times.

“This is a storybook ending,” said Sharperson, 30, in his fourth full season. “I still can’t believe it has happened. I didn’t think I played enough to get picked. I’m going down to San Diego and take pictures, get autographs.”

Orel Hershiser and Tom Candiotti, who were the Dodgers’ other top candidates for the game, said they were pleased with Sharperson’s selection.

“If there is anyone who deserved it, he did,” Hershiser said. “Everybody on the team is really happy for him.”