Josh Hamilton is among three Texas Rangers named to the American League’s starting lineup for the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game after receiving a record 11.1 million votes in fan balloting.
Joining him as starters in the July 10 game in Kansas City, Missouri, will be Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher Mike Napoli. Including reserves, the two-time defending AL champion Rangers have seven All-Stars.
“We have a great team,” Hamilton, whose 25 home runs are one off the major-league lead, told MLB.com. “You look up and down our lineup. We’ve been to two World Series in a row, and the reason is not one player, it’s multiple players.”
The New York Yankees also have three players voted as AL starters in shortstop Derek Jeter, second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson.
The American League has lost two straight games after a 12-0-1 run from 1997 to 2009. At stake in the All-Star Game is home-field advantage in the World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who is also among this year’s AL starters, set a record in 2011 when he received 7.45 million votes. Fans this year cast 40.2 million ballots, breaking the record of 32.5 million set last year, MLB said in an e-mailed statement.
Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers, the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 All-Star Game, starts at first base and the AL lineup is completed by Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who will play for the eighth time.
The AL team will be managed by Ron Washington of the Rangers, while Tony La Russa, who retired after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to victory in the World Series last year, will lead the National League team.
The NL starting lineup includes a trio of San Francisco Giants -- catcher Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval at third base and Melky Cabrera in the outfield. Posey and Cabrera are each making their first trip to the game.
San Francisco’s Matt Cain, who pitched the first perfect game in Giants history June 13, is among the starting pitchers named to the NL staff.
Cain is joined by knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey, who has a major league-leading 12 wins for the New York Mets.
Washington Nationals duo Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wade Miley of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies and Lance Lynn of the Cardinals are the other starting pitchers to make the NL team. Relievers on the National League roster are Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds, Joel Hanrahan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves, Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies and Huston Street of the San Diego Padres.
CC Sabathia of the Yankees is joined by AL starting pitchers Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson of the Los Angeles Angels, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, Justin Verlander of the Tigers, Matt Harrison of the Rangers and David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The AL’s relievers are Ryan Cook of the Oakland Athletics, Jim Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles, Joe Nathan of the Rangers, Chris Perez of the Cleveland Indians and Fernando Rodney of the Rays.
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto, Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla and Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal complete the NL infield.
Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals and injured Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who was voted in as a starter for the second consecutive year, will join Cabrera in the NL outfield.
Mets third baseman David Wright is among the NL reserves, making his sixth All-Star team. Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton are the NL’s reserve outfielders, while Houston’s Jose Altuve, Washington’s Ian Desmond and the Cubs’ Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair are infield reserves. The NL’s backup catchers are the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina and the Phillies’ Carlos Ruiz.
Angels 20-year-old rookie outfielder Mike Trout is the seventh-youngest position player to make the AL All-Star team.
The AL’s other reserve outfielders are fellow Angel Mark Trumbo and Baltimore’s Adam Jones, while Adam Dunn of the White Sox and Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals made the roster as backups at designated hitter. The AL’s reserve infielders are Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Paul Konerko of the White Sox.
Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and Matt Wieters of the Orioles are the AL’s backup catchers.