LOS ANGELES (KRON) — Oakland A’s pitcher Paul Blackburn jetted to his first MLB All-Star Game in the chartered jet of a division rival. Blackburn told FOX26 Houston’s Mark Berman that after a series in Houston before the All-Star break, the Astros offered to fly him to Los Angeles for the festivities.
Berman reported that Blackburn was set to fly commercial from Houston to Los Angeles before the Astros stepped in and offered to let him join their all-stars on a charter. Blackburn said he was grateful for the gesture.
“It was fun. They made me feel very welcomed and comfortable and we had some good conversations, some good laughs,” Blackburn said.
“It was just brought to me and I was asked if I wanted to fly with them and I said ‘Yeah. If (Astros Manager Dusty Baker) would allow that then yeah, of course.'”
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Blackburn is in his sixth season with the Athletics, and it has been his most successful by far. He has pitched 97 innings, struck out 77 batters and has pitched to a 3.62 ERA.
Blackburn is an East Bay native — he was drafted in the first round of Heritage High School in Brentwood by the Chicago Cubs in 2012. He was the lone A’s player to be selected to the 2022 All-Star Game.