"It feels definitely an honor," said Hamilton from Oklahoma City, where he was getting ready to play in a doubleheader for the RedHawks. "I kind of have mixed feelings. I don't personally feel like I deserve to go, but the fans voted me in, so I'm really happy about that. It's an honor to go for a second straight year."
Hamilton will be joined by third baseman Michael Young, who was selected as a reserve for the sixth straight year. Evan Longoria was a runaway winner in the fans' vote at third base, but Young was selected by the players' vote. Young was batting .314 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs going into Sunday night's game against the Rays. He has been to five straight All-Star Games as a shortstop, but this is his first as a third baseman.
"That means a lot," Young said. "Going back to the winter there was tons of uncertainty about how it would all play out. Once again, it's an honor to be the players' selection. It's the ultimate honor. At the end of my career, I'm not going to look back at how many All-Star Games I went to, but how I got there."
Young has been to more All-Star Games than any other Rangers player in history, except catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who went to 10 while with the Rangers.
Hamilton and Young are the only two Rangers named to the team. Second baseman Ian Kinsler led fan voting at his position through almost the entire voting process, but he was passed at the end by Boston's Dustin Pedroia. Aaron Hill won the players' vote at second base, with Kinsler finishing second in both ballots.
But Kinsler can still make it to St. Louis by way of the Sprint Final Vote competition
. The second baseman is one of five candidates for the AL nod, which fans can vote on until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday.
Pitcher Kevin Millwood was not selected to the AL All-Star team despite being fifth in the league with a 2.80 ERA. He was not among the five starters selected by the players, and Rays manager Joe Maddon chose five pitchers: starters Tim Wakefield, Mark Buehrle and Felix Hernandez and relievers Andrew Bailey and Brian Fuentes.
"The only one I'm really disappointed in was Millwood," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I don't think there is anybody in the game who has been important to his team as he has been to us. Whenever we needed it, he delivered."
Hamilton has made it clear he will not be in the Home Run Derby. He set a record by hitting 28 home runs in the first round last year at Yankee Stadium before losing out to Justin Morneau in the finals. His injuries have precluded an encore performance this season.
"I had planned on doing the Home Run Derby if I got back before I went on the disabled list twice," Hamilton said
Hamilton was 2-for-20 in his first four rehab games, one at Frisco and three in Oklahoma City. He was scheduled to play in the doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, and the Rangers were going to make a decision after that if he will be ready to be activated for a three-game series against the Angels that starts on Monday in Anaheim.
"Right now, I expect to be back on this upcoming road trip and back on the team and playing," Hamilton said. "Rehab is going good. The physical part is fine, I'm just trying to do a couple of things with my swing and get on track with that. Every day feels better. If I wasn't making progress, I'd be worried, but I am making progress."
Hamilton has played in just 35 of the Rangers' first 79 games, and he is hitting .240 with six home runs and 24 RBIs. He has a .290 on-base percentage and a .456 slugging percentage.
The outfielder has been on the disabled list since June 2. He also missed two weeks at the beginning of May because of a bruised left rib cage. Both injuries occurred crashing into walls chasing fly balls.
This is the second year in a row that Hamilton has been selected to start for the AL. He is the first Texas player to be selected to start in consecutive All-Star Games since Alex Rodriguez started three straight in 2001-03. No Rangers outfielder has been selected to start in consecutive All-Star Games.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.