Melancon driven to be an All-Star – in minivan

You could say Mark Melancon was driven to be an All-Star.

The Pittsburgh Pirates reliever learned Saturday he was selected

as a National League replacement after teammate Jeff Locke got

hurt. Melancon took a decidedly non-chic route to Citi Field.

”I rented a minivan, and my wife and I and my parents drove,”

he said Monday.

His parents flew to Pittsburgh from Colorado when they found out

Melancon had earned the honor, giving the Pirates five All-Stars

for the first time since they were defending World Series champions

in 1972.

Melancon needed 14 tickets in all for family and friends – each

player gets six for free under baseball’s labor contract and pays

for the rest.

But while most All-Stars jet in, Melancon got to see Interstate

80 from the minivan along with his parents.

”My parents picked it up when they arrived at the airport, when

they flew in,” he said. ”They got packed up and they came to the

game, and we took off from the stadium.”

His father drove, while he and wife Mary Catherine were

passengers along with their nearly 2-year-old daughter Brooklyn and

his mom.

The 380-mile drive takes about six hours, and they arrived in

Manhattan about midnight.

”We talked, and I got some good quality family time,” Melancon

said.