Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's MLB All-Star season!!! And this year, MLB decided to make things interesting.
As you probably all know, there were no paper ballots being distributed at the stadiums. Every ballot cast (over 620 million) were done electronically. Which made for very interesting ballot updates.
To wit, for the first few weeks, the AL All-Star Team starters, if there were only two weeks of balloting, would have consisted of Mike Trout...and 8 Kansas City Royals. It seems that on the heels of their unbelievable run to the AL title last year, KC fans (and fans who thought it would be a good idea to really mess things up), voted en masse (you were allowed 35 votes per LEGITIMATE email address) for their Royals heroes. Even Norichika Aoki, a former Royal who is now with the team that BEAT them in the World Series (that would be the Giants) finished fourth in the NL balloting.
Not since 1957, when Reds fans (coincidentally, this game is being played in Cincinnati) successfully voted 7 of their players onto the starting lineup. It was only because the commissioner intervened that prevented this from happening. This also ended fan voting for a long period of time.
But finally reality kicked in, and it looks like deserving players pulled through.
Back to my point.
Every year, I keep tabs on every All-Star Roster move from the time the rosters are announced until game day. I do this not only because I really REALLY love the All-Star Game, but because I also take the cards of the All-Stars from the eponymous set and put them in a special All-Star binder. This binder is not permanent (no, I do not have a separate collection of All-Star cards), and once the game is over, I put everybody back in their respective pockets within the main set. I use the cards of the players so I can keep track of who's in the game, who has already made an appearance, and who is still waiting to get in the game. In past years, managers try to get everybody in the game. But since that debacle in 2002, the games now "count," with the winning league winning home field advantage for the World Series. So now the game is played for keeps, and if a player doesn't get in because it's a close game, then, "oh well."
Now in recent years, full rosters, (starters, pitchers, reserves, and final man candidates) were announced ten days before the game. This year, the results of the voting were announced on Sunday, and the rest of the players will be announced on Monday.
So who were the big winners in the All-Star voting? Let's find out:
|American League Leading Vote-Getter: Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays|
American League Starters (with 2015 Topps Card # and retail team set if applicable):
- 1B-Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (#200, DT-1)
- 2B-Jose Altuve, Astros(#620, HA-1)
- 3B-Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (#5, Athletics, TBJ-12)
- SS-Alcides Escobar, Royals (#137, KCR-4)
- OF-Mike Trout, Angels (#300, A-1)
- OF-Lorenzo Cain, Royals (#516, KCR-12)
- OF-Alex Gordon, Royals (#456, KCR-11)
- C-Salvador Perez, Royals (#39, KCR-5)
- DH-Nelson Cruz, Mariners (#411, SM-17)
|National League Leading Vote-Getter: Bryce Harper of the Nationals|
National League Starters:
- 1B-Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (#203, AD-1)
- 2B-Dee Gordon, Marlins (#559, MM-14)
- 3B-Todd Frazier, Reds (#42, CR-5)
- SS-Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals (#311, SLC-5)
- OF-Bryce Harper, Nationals (#207, WN-1)
- OF-Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins (#150, MM-1)
- OF-Matt Holliday, Cardinals (#361, SLC-10)
- C-Buster Posey, Giants (#275, SGF-12)
Now the votes may be in, but we have a few situations. Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, and Matt Holliday are all currently on the DL, with Holliday scheduled to return some time this week. So for the moment, there will be injury replacements for at least two players. Who will they be?
We'll have to watch tomorrow night to find out. In the mean time, I'm going to go ahead and add these cards to my All-Star binder. Who's with me.