J.D. Drew has long been someone that many people don't like, a shame given how talented of a baseball player he was for much of his career. It all started before he was drafted, when he set some monetary demands to let teams know if they would be able to afford him or not, and the Philadelphia Phillies, who apparently didn't get the memo or didn't care, selected him despite having no intention of paying him.
It was an inauspicious start, but the right fielder showed he was worth paying for almost immediately, averaged nearly four wins a year during his initial contract with the St. Louis Cardinals (and one year with the Braves). Despite a 2001 campaign where he was worth six wins and that season in Atlanta when he put up a monster 7.5 rWAR campaign, Drew never made the All-Star team until 2008 while with Boston.
He made his lone appearance at the All-Star game count, though, justifying manager Terry Francona's selection of him. He hit a game-tying two-run homer in his first All-Star at-bat in the seventh inning off of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez, to tie the game at two. He ended up getting four at-bats in the contest thanks to the game going into extra innings and taking nearly five hours to complete, giving him an opportunity to add a single as well.
Francona mentioned that, had the game gone any longer, Drew may have had to take the mound, too, as All-Star teams are not set up well for extra innings. The starting pitchers on the roster all pitch a few frames, so by the time a tie game in the ninth rolls around, bullpens are depleted for both squads despite the enormous rosters. While facing the lineup of the very best hitters the National League has to offer probably isn't the best time to make your mound debut, it would have added to what was already an excellent night for Drew, who took home MVP honors for the winning American League side.
Despite an even better 2009 campaign, where Drew was worth 5.6 wins and hit .279/.392/.522, 2008 remains his lone All-Star appearance, but Drew, as he has done on the big stage before, made it count with a memorable long ball.