Stephen Strasburg is an All-Star at FanFest
When fans approach the information desk near the entrance of FanFest, there is a single player there to greet them, in the form of a cardboard cutout of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Another cutout of Strasburg is set up near the center of the Anaheim Convention Center, next to a baseball diamond where many events, mainly aimed at young fans, take place.
A contest to be held Tuesday is also centered on the 21-year-old starter. Children ages 6 to 13 will compete to throw the fastest pitch, and the winner will receive a baseball autographed by Strasburg, who has hit 100 mph with his fastball.
But Strasburg is not even an All-Star.
Charlie Manuel, the manager of the National League team, decided not to select Strasburg, who has struck out 53 batters in six starts this season, for the team.
That did not deter baseball fans from taking pictures with the cutouts.
Two of those fans were Larry Lally and his daughter Colleen Lally of Lake Forest. They said they have watched Strasburg pitch and agreed that his presence at FanFest was strange -- but that he will be an All-Star soon enough.
"Maybe in a couple years," Colleen said. "He's only pitched in a few games."
"He's a real good pitcher," Larry added.
Of course, not all of the fans in attendance thought there was anything weird about the cutouts.
When asked if she was a fan of Strasburg after having her picture taken, one woman simply looked back at the cutout, confused.
"Is that who that was?" she said.
-- Laura Myers
Photo: The Nationals' Stephen Strasburg isn't an All-Star yet, but the pitcher -- or at least a cardboard cutout of him -- turned up at FanFest. Credit: Laura Myers / Los Angeles Times