Boston infielder Brock Holt was born in Fort Worth, lived in the Aledo-Weatherford area until fifth grade, and then moved to Stephenville.
Baltimore closer Zach Britton was born and raised in southern California before moving to Weatherford as a teenager and blossoming into a second-round pick.
Their paths, though, never crossed, despite being close in age and loaded with ability while living the same region. Now, they are first-time American League All-Stars.
“It’s pretty nuts that we’re from that close together,” Holt said. “We never crossed paths. I wish I didn’t have to face him in the big leagues. Now we’re crossing paths way too many times. He’s pretty nasty.”
Holt is the lone representative for a Red Sox team that has plenty of All-Stars on the roster, including the injured player Holt has replaced, Dustin Pedroia. Holt’s value as a utility man made him an attractive option for AL manager Ned Yost, and Holt batted .292 with a .379 on-base percentage, 21 extra-base hits and a game in which he hit for the cycle.
Britton was a starter early in his career but has morphed into a lockdown closer for the Orioles. He saved 37 games in 2014 and had 23 in the first half, utilizing a sinking fastball that he throws in the mid-90s.
“If someone had told me, ‘Hey, you’re going to be an All-Star eventually,’ closer would have been the furthest thing from my mind,” said Britton, a left-hander who made 46 career starts before going to the bullpen. “It’s crazy how things work out, but it’s been a cool experience the last couple years.”
Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw is from Highland Park, and Atlanta Braves right-hander Shelby Miller is from Brownwood. Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is from the Woodlands, and St. Louis righty Michael Wacha is from Texarkana.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760