The 17 starters for this year's All-Star Game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, announced on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell on TBS on Sunday, give new meaning to the words "star power."
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton received 11,073,744 votes, shattering the previous record of 7,454,753 set last season by Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Hamilton is the third Ranger to finish as the top overall vote-getter in the Majors, following Ivan Rodriguez (2,808,456 in 2000) and Alfonso Soriano (3,466,447 in 2004).
"Oh man, it's crazy," Hamilton said. "Thinking about that many people voting, it means a lot. To get that many votes is pretty special."
In the National League, Giants catcher Buster Posey, who tallied 7,621,370 votes, set the National League balloting record, surpassing Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun's 5,928,004 votes in 2011.
Fans have already won, making a record-setting statement in support of their favorite players, but who will win the game this year?
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The NL ended a 13-year losing streak with a win in 2010, and will be seeking its third All-Star Game victory in a row. The star-studded American League lineup is fit for a king -- make that a Prince -- and has other ideas, especially with home-field advantage during the World Series on the line.
American League roster
|C||Mike Napoli, TEX|
|1B||Prince Fielder, DET|
|2B||Robinson Cano, NYY|
|3B||Adrian Beltre, TEX|
|SS||Derek Jeter, NYY|
|OF||Josh Hamilton, TEX|
|OF||Curtis Granderson, NYY|
|OF||Jose Bautista, TOR|
|DH||David Ortiz, BOS|
|RHP||Ryan Cook, OAK|
|LHP||Matt Harrison, TEX|
|RHP||Felix Hernandez, SEA|
|RHP||Jim Johnson, BAL|
|RHP||Joe Nathan, TEX|
|RHP||Chris Perez, CLE|
|LHP||David Price, TB|
|RHP||Fernando Rodney, TB|
|LHP||CC Sabathia, NYY|
|LHP||Chris Sale, CWS|
|RHP||Justin Verlander, DET|
|RHP||Jered Weaver, LAA|
|LHP||C.J. Wilson, LAA|
|C||Joe Mauer, MIN|
|C||Matt Wieters, BAL|
|SS||Elvis Andrus, TEX|
|SS||Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE|
|3B||Miguel Cabrera, DET|
|2B||Ian Kinsler, TEX|
|1B||Paul Konerko, CWS|
|OF||Adam Jones, BAL|
|OF||Mike Trout, LAA|
|OF||Mark Trumbo, LAA|
|DH||Billy Butler, KC|
|DH||Adam Dunn, CWS|
Here's a rundown of the AL starters:
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, the 2011 All-Star Game MVP and winner of the 2009 Home Run Derby, will make his fourth All-Star appearance and first as a member of the American League.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, winner of last year's Home Run Derby, got the starting nod for the third consecutive time. It was his fourth All-Star Game selection.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is back in the All-Star Game for the 13th time in his career. The Yankees captain bowed out of last year's game, citing a calf injury he sustained during the pursuit of his 3,000th career hit and the need for rest over the All-Star break.
"I've always told you guys every time I'm at an All-Star Game how much I appreciate going and how much fun I have," Jeter said. "Unfortunately, last year I didn't have a chance to go, but I'm looking forward to it this year."
The two-time defending AL-champion Texas Rangers will be well represented in Kansas City. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, starting for the second consecutive year, is back in the All-Star Game for the third time in a row, while catcher Mike Napoli is an All-Star for the first time. Hamilton, who was sensational in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, is now a five-time All-Star.
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz is an All-Star for the eighth time.
"I'm excited," said Ortiz. "Thanks to the fans and everybody for voting me in. I'll just get ready to put on a good show for the fans."
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson and Bautista can each smile knowing that they are both three-time All-Stars and in the starting lineup for the second consecutive year.
"It feels great, again huge support from the fans, all of those votes," Bautista said. "It's amazing that I see myself in that position, having so many people following me and showing me the love. I appreciate it and all of my thanks goes out to everybody who voted."
The visiting NL will boast the following starters:
Posey, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, has bounced back from a devastating ankle injury that wiped out last season to earn the starting nod behind the plate for his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic. Joining Posey in the NL's starting lineup are teammates Pablo Sandoval -- who was named to last year's team by Giants manager Bruce Bochy -- at third base and fellow first-time All-Star Melky Cabrera in the outfield.
"It's going to be a blast," Posey said. "I think it's something that you don't really think about that much, but when it happens, it's humbling. It's something you dream of."
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto is slated to make his third appearance in the All-Star Game, but his first start. Joining the slugger in the infield are Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla and St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal, who both have been part of two All-Star teams but will be making their first starts.
St. Louis veteran Carlos Beltran, who is making his seventh All-Star Game appearance, and Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who will start in place of injured Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, round out the rest of the NL outfield.
Fans cast their votes at an unprecedented rate in MLB.com's All-Star Game balloting, which included three of the four highest one-day totals ever during the final three days of voting. There were 4.2 million ballots cast on June 28, 3.9 million on June 27, and 2.8 million on June 26. Fans also set a new single-day mark with 42.5 million total votes on June 28.
Overall, 391.2 million online votes from 34.9 million MLB.com ballots were cast, the largest total recorded in the history of online balloting, surpassing last year's record.
National League roster
|C||Buster Posey, SF|
|1B||Joey Votto, CIN|
|2B||Dan Uggla, ATL|
|SS||Rafael Furcal, STL|
|3B||Pablo Sandoval, SF|
|OF||Melky Cabrera, SF|
|OF||Carlos Beltran, STL|
|OF||Matt Kemp, LAD|
|RHP||Matt Cain, SF|
|LHP||Aroldis Chapman, CIN|
|RHP||R.A. Dickey, NYM|
|LHP||Gio Gonzalez, WAS|
|LHP||Cole Hamels, PHI|
|RHP||Joel Hanrahan, PIT|
|LHP||Clayton Kershaw, LAD|
|RHP||Craig Kimbrel, ATL|
|RHP||Lance Lynn, STL|
|LHP||Wade Miley, ARI|
|RHP||Jonathan Papelbon, PHI|
|RHP||Stephen Strasburg, WAS|
|RHP||Huston Street, SD|
|C||Yadier Molina, STL|
|C||Carlos Ruiz, PHI|
|1B||Bryan LaHair, CHC|
|2B||Jose Altuve, HOU|
|SS||Starlin Castro, CHC|
|SS||Ian Desmond, WAS|
|3B||David Wright, NYM|
|OF||Ryan Braun, MIL|
|OF||Jay Bruce, CIN|
|OF||Carlos Gonzalez, COL|
|OF||Andrew McCutchen, PIT|
|OF||Giancarlo Stanton, MIA|
In addition to the starters, who were elected by the fans, pitchers and reserve players were named to the All-Star Game rosters by the Player Ballot -- a vote of the players, managers and coaches -- and by All-Star Game managers Ron Washington (AL) and Tony La Russa (NL) in conjunction with MLB.
The AL pitching staff consists of Rays starter David Price, Yankees starter CC Sabathia, White Sox starter Chris Sale, Tigers starter Justin Verlander and Angels starter Jered Weaver. Sabathia, who is currently on the disabled list, will be recognized as an All-Star and has been invited to Kansas City with full All-Star honors, but will be replaced by C.J. Wilson of the Angels, per request of Washington. The relievers are Jim Johnson of the Orioles, Chris Perez of the Indians and Fernando Rodney of the Rays. Yu Darvish made the team Thursday by virtue of winning the MLB.com Final Vote.
Named to the AL bench are Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Angels outfielders Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo and designated hitter Adam Dunn of the White Sox.
"It's awesome getting picked," Trout said. "I'm getting chills thinking about it right now. Getting to represent the Angels, having Trumbo make it and C.J. and Weave. It's great."
Washington's seven selections, in conjunction with MLB, included Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Billy Butler of the Royals. Washington's pitching selections are A's reliever Ryan Cook, Rangers starter Matt Harrison, Mariners starter Felix Hernandez and Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.
"I think just having a full squad with the best that the American League has to offer will probably make a difference," Washington said on TBS. "We just had some injuries last year, and a few guys pitched on Sunday and couldn't play. When you look at that National League squad, they were strong, and I'm hoping to be as strong this year and hopefully we can do better."
NL reserve position players are Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, Mets third baseman David Wright, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and outfielders Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates. Cardinals third baseman David Freese was the NL Final Vote winner.
NL pitchers include Giants starter Matt Cain, Mets starter R.A. Dickey, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and Nationals teammates Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. The relievers are the Reds' Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates' Joel Hanrahan and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.
"First of all, I'm really happy and surprised," Chapman said via his translator. "I'm proud that only two years into [my career] and between so many good pitchers in the league, I'm being selected to go to the All-Star Game."
La Russa made nine selections in conjunction with MLB to fill out the remainder of the NL roster. The position players chosen by the manager are catcher Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, shortstop Ian Desmond of the Nationals and outfielders Jay Bruce of the Reds and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. The five pitchers chosen are Phillies teammates Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, D-backs starter Wade Miley and Huston Street of the Padres.