DENVER -- Baseball has a problem. Derek Jeter, the face of the game, retired at the end of last season. There has been no one step up and fill the spot.
Baseball, however, has a plethora of candidates. It is a good problem for the game.
For all the teeth-gnashing over the game's aging fan base, the game is undergoing one of the most impactful transitions on the field that it has ever seen. Youth is being served, and the fans are being treated to excitement across the country over the game's budding superstars.
The 2015 All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile will be played Tuesday night in Cincinnati. With the addition of Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez, who is 23, and Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who is 26, on Friday in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, there are 38 All-Stars who are 27 or younger, and 31 first-time All-Stars.
All but 14 of the All-Stars have been selected four or fewer times.
Cabrera and Holliday, both of whom are on the disabled list, are the only five-time (or more) All-Stars to be voted into the starting lineup by fans.
It's part of an overhaul of the game, where the new kids on the block are taking over. And it is a blessing for baseball.
OK, there's not that single national icon right now, who is to baseball like LeBron is to basketball.
There are, however, a couple dozen young impact players scattered across the country, developing regional allegiances that eventually could have a national flare. But does it really matter if they go national?
Baseball, after all, is a game built of its strong regional ties, which is apparent by the expanding regional television revenues the game is enjoying, and by the stadiums that fill up on a regular basis over the years in smaller major markets. And right now, they are being treated to budding superstars most every night.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw didn't make the All-Star team this year, but it's impossible to overlook the fact that he's only 27 and has not only won the National League Cy Young Award three times, but also the NL MVP Award last year. And while Kershaw was claiming that NL MVP Award, 23-year-old Angels center fielder Mike Trout snagged it in the American League.
Bryce Harper was an All-Star in his first two big league seasons before being limited by injuries a year ago. He has taken the step to stardom this year, at the age of 22, as the youngest All-Star, born 102 days before Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, a two-time All-Star himself. The Orioles only have one lineup regular on the back side of 30 -- 32-year-old shortstop J.J. Hardy.
Third baseman Martin Prado, 31, currently on the disabled list, is the only Marlins everyday regular older than 27, and Dan Haren, 34, is the only Miami starting pitcher who has celebrated his 30th birthday.
The Braves don't have a pitcher 25 or older in their rotation. The Rays don't have a starting pitcher older than 27. Bartolo Colon is 42, but deGrom, 27, is the Mets' second-oldest starting pitcher.
Get the picture? There's not a lot of gray in the hair of players on big league rosters right now.
Houston has Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Keuchel, and Pittsburgh is treated to Cole, while Oakland fans marvel at Gray, with Martinez and Wacha opening eyes in St. Louis. And the Big Apple is not forgotten, with Dellin Betances in the Bronx and with Citi Field home to the strong arms of deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
There are so many faces in so many places, it can't do anything but help the game.
The late Roy Campanella, who is enshrined in the Hall of Fame, once said, "You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too."
Baseball has become a young man's sport, which makes its future promising.
Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.