07/14/2003 5:59 PM ET
Wolf 'in awe' over experience
CHICAGO -- Randy Wolf was like a wide-eyed kid at the Westin Hotel on Monday afternoon. The Philadelphia left-hander, a first-time All-Star and the only Phillie selected to the team, sat in a quiet corner and looked around the room at the likes of Arizona's Luis Gonzalez, Atlanta's Gary Sheffield, and St. Louis' Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Edgar Renteria and Jim Edmonds. He marveled at the select company he was keeping.
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
"I'm in awe," Wolf said. "It's incredible to be a part of all this. I'm just soaking it up and enjoying it. This is fabulous, really."
It has been quite a half-season for the 26-year-old, who made news earlier this year after a chance encounter with an anonymous brunette on the New York subway and made even bigger news for the pitches he threw to National League hitters.
Wolf still hasn't heard from the anonymous woman who asked him for directions to Times Square on the subway that spring day despite plenty of publicity about the incident and the continued bemusement of his teammates.
"It's sort of a John Cusack screenplay," Wolf said. "On the New York subway, where everybody is kind of doing their ant-farm kind of thing, to meet somebody who stands out like that and seemed so different -- it was just an amazing thing. It's kind of hard not to come on as creepy if you're talking as a stranger to somebody in a New York subway. [Teammate] Ricky Ledee calls me Train Stalker, but I'm not like that."
Wolf only knows the woman as a brown-eyed brunette who "kind of looks like [actress] Natalie Portman." He gave her directions but never knew the woman's name, let alone her phone number, and he hasn't heard anything since.
That hasn't been his lone disappointment. Wolf wishes more of his teammates were at the All-Star Game with him.
First baseman Jim Thome and catcher Mike Lieberthal were among those who are enjoying outstanding years who didn't make the team. Relievers Rheal Cormier and Turk Wendell also have had strong first halves.
"We have a few guys who deserve to be here that aren't here," Wolf said.
For Wolf, just getting here was a thrill. To pitch would be a bonus.
"When you look at all of the great pitchers in this room, I certainly can't complain if [National League manager] Dusty [Baker] doesn't use me," Wolf said. "I'm just thrilled to be here. It would be great to get in the game, don't get me wrong, but if it doesn't work out I'll understand."
Wolf, 10-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 19 starts, could get a chance to pitch in Tuesday night's All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field, especially because he's a lefty. He hasn't heard from Baker about where he fits in the game plan, but he will take whatever comes.
If Wolf pitches, however, maybe the Manhattan mystery woman will be watching the nationally televised game and remember him from the subway.
"I doubt it," he said. "If she did, she'd probably tell me I need to get a life."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.