Sale returns to the All-Star game
Chris Sale, an FGCU baseball program alumni, will be playing in his fourth consecutive All-Star baseball game.
Also known as the Midsummer Classic, the MLB All-Star Game is meant to mark the halfway point of the season, consisting of professional players specially selected from both the National and American League. Sale, 26, is the second pitcher in White Sox history – along with left-hander Billy Pierce (1955-59) – to make the cut for four consecutive All-Star teams.
Named the American League Pitcher of the Month in June 2015, Sale leads the AL and is tied for the most strikeouts in the MLB with 147, alongside 2014 National League MVP Clayton Kershaw.
Sale is one of only six players in MLB history to play in the big leagues the same year he was drafted, after being selected 13th overall following his junior season at FGCU in 2010. He will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame later this month, as one of only two pitchers in the history of baseball to strike out at least 10 batters in eight consecutive games.
During his career at FGCU, Sale led the Eagles to the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010 – with the last leading to the program’s first A-Sun Tournament victory. For the 2010 season, Sale posted an 11-0 win/loss streak and a 2.01 ERA over 17 games. Sale pitched 103 innings, while striking out 146 and walking 14. He led the NCAA in strikeouts at the end of the regular season and received both the conference and national Pitcher of the Year title.
Dave Tollett, the head coach of the FGCU Eagles baseball team, coached Sale during his collegiate career.
“What Chris has done is outstanding,” Tollett said. “I feel he is getting better each year and is one of the top pitchers in the game today.”
Sale, who resides in Southwest Florida in the offseason, remains a great supporter of FGCU. He became the first Eagle student-athlete to have his jersey retired when his No. 41 was recognized during the halftime ceremony of a men’s basketball game on Jan. 31.
“As great of a player that [Sale] is, he is just as good as a person and father. He is so down to Earth,” Tollet said. “Chris gives back to FGCU in so many ways. He is very loyal and giving to his institution and his community.”