Zobrist revels in fan support, first All-Star start

Zobrist revels in fan support, first All-Star start

CHICAGO -- Ben Zobrist remembers his first All-Star Game in 2009, and how starstruck he was, being in the same clubhouse with all the top players in the game. On Tuesday, Zobrist was named to the National League starting lineup at second base, and he will join six of his Cubs teammates at the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego (6:30 p.m. CT on FOX).

"It's a huge honor, and especially special for me to be able to wear a Cubs uniform and be an All-Star," Zobrist said Wednesday.

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Zobrist topped the Nationals' Daniel Murphy by 88 votes in the fan balloting at second base, and he was thankful for his hometown support as well as voting by others.

"There were a lot from Eureka [Ill.], there were a lot of family member votes, people from my church in Nashville, close friends -- you name it, and I could go to every one of those people and say 'thank you' for the votes," Zobrist said. "It's going to be a really special experience for me to be out there as a starter. This will be a huge honor."

This will be Zobrist's third All-Star Game, but the first time he will start. It's the first All-Star Game for Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell and Jake Arrieta, and Zobrist planned on giving them a little advice.

"It's a little like your wedding day in the fact that you do a lot of smiling and answering questions," Zobrist said. "If you don't slow yourself down, you could miss a lot of it."

The event can be tiring, but Zobrist said it's worth it.

"To be sitting around a locker room and looking at all the guys in the locker room, it's a special feeling," he said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.