The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Harrison is representing the black and gold at the Major League Baseball All Star Game in Miami this week.

When the 2017 MLB season began, a lot of people had doubts about Josh Harrison. Media, mainstream and the blog-o-sphere alike, wondered if he was “worth” the four-year, $27.3 million contract extension he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in April 2015. Now, here we are, at the official halfway mark of the season and he’s the sole representative of a lackluster-but-improving Bucs squad at the MLB All Star game.

So how’d he get here? The Pirates made him a highlight reel:

It’s Harrison’s second trip to the game, his first was three years ago in 2014 when his stellar performance for the Pirates earned him 9th place in MVP voting. The second time is less taxing, he said in the video below, but his first trip to the game, he said, was made easier with help from an All Star pro:

Harrison was named to the National League All Star reserve list, where he’s slotted in as a second baseman. But, a true utlilityman at heart, JHay is happy to play wherever they tell him to go, as he explained.

The game takes place tonight at 8 p.m. It’s become almost a footnote to the activities surrounding All Star week, especially now that the result of the game no longer determines home field advantage for the World Series. What the game means now, as reported by USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale, is money. Those players on the winning team take home $20,000 – the losers? Nothing. But even they have prospects of cashing in, given that having that “All Star” line on the resume could add up to extra moolah when it comes to contract time.

But for Harrison, who could be under Pirates’ control through 2020, that’s an afterthought. He’s focusing all of his energy on enjoying the moment.

JHay All (Star) Day

First, there are the parties and the all-important SWAG:

Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison shows off the sweet Adidas All Star cleats during the 2017 All Star week. Photo by Adidas Baseball

Then the never-ending media gauntlet:

According to MLB’s Pirates beat reporter Adam Berry, even an All Star likes to take home a few keepsakes:

Then the work begins, and he settled into his locker in the NL Clubhouse:

Josh Harrison’s locker in the NL All Star Clubhouse. That’s A LOT of gear for one game! Photo by Josh Harrison for Infield Chatter

Then he donned his All Star jersey and got a few licks in before Aaron Judge dominated the Homerun Derby.

Then finally, and probably most importantly to Josh Harrison, he got to enjoy some baseball with his little girl.

Josh Harrison got to be a spectator during the 2017 All Star Home Run Derby – and his daughter had one of the best seats in the house! Photo by Josh Harrison for Infield Chatter

No one is complaining about the honor it is to be an All Star, and to represent baseball – but truth be told, Harrison’s still working while the rest of his teammates are enjoying some much-needed rest and family-time. But, it’s a safe bet that most of them would rather be on that field with him than lounging on a beach somewhere. Here’s hoping that’s what next year brings for Josh Harrison and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Featured image courtesy MLB

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Joy Frank-Collins

Joy Frank-Collins is a Communications professional who got her start writing as a journalist at a daily newspaper in southeastern Ohio. She was born in Reds country, but "found" baseball watching the 1986 Mets win the World Series. She lives in Marietta, Ohio, with her family, who all share her passion for Pirates baseball. She loves the suicide squeeze, a crisp 6-4-3 double play and catchers (especially Russell Martin). When not obsessing over baseball, Joy likes to work out, travel and drink wine. Check her out on Instagram @JoyFC