Five Rangers selected to All-Star squad
Hamilton, Guerrero to start; Feliz, Kinsler, Andrus in reserve
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero have been named starters for the 81st All-Star Game in Anaheim."It's always exciting and always an honor to be voted in, especially by the fans," Hamilton said. "It's nice to know your hard work has paid off. I love spending time with fans and making them feel special when I can."
"Of course I feel happy," Guerrero said. "I've spent three years without being an All-Star. I've been working a lot and I'm happy to be going back to play in Anaheim."In addition to Hamilton and Guerrero, Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Ian Kinsler were also named to the American League roster, bringing Texas' total to five players selected to play at Angel Stadium on July 13. The Rangers also had five players in the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston. Andrus was elected by the players while Kinsler is replacing Boston's Dustin Pedroia, who is on the disabled list. It will be the first All-Star Game for both Andrus and Feliz. "It just says that we've got some players that are playing some great baseball and being recognized to that fact," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "The main thing about it all is each one of those guys are team players." Third baseman Michael Young is one of five players competing for the Final Vote, with the winner being the final player added to the AL Roster. "We got like the whole team going, man. It's pretty exciting," Hamilton said. "It says a lot about the organization. It says a lot about the team. And it's not just one or two guys, we've got a lot of guys playing good baseball." Hamilton, who led all outfielders in fan voting with 2,840,816 votes, heads to the All-Star Game after a torrid month of June. In the past 30 days, he's led the Majors in batting average (.437), home runs (10), RBIs (30), on-base percentage (.477) and slugging percentage (.835). Hamtilon saw his career-high 23-game hit streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to the Angels on Thursday, but has still hit safely in 25 of his past 26 games, raising his season average to .340 with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs. Guerrero, who collected 3,926,103 votes, led all designated hitters in online fan voting virtually from the beginning. He leads the Major Leagues with 70 RBIs and has 18 home runs to go with his .331 batting average. "Vlad's on his way to Comeback Player of the Year, and Josh seems like he's going to be a mainstay for a while," Kinsler said. "It's going to be a lot of fun having your teammates with you. I think we're all going to enjoy it." Hamilton will be making his third consecutive All-Star Game start, making him one of only three Rangers to start more than once, joining Ivan Rodriguez (nine starts) and Alex Rodriguez (three starts). It will be Guerrero's ninth All-Star appearance, but his first as a member of the Rangers. The game marks another return trip to Angel Stadium for Guerrero, where he played for the past six seasons. He's appeared in every All-Star Game this decade, except for 2003, '08 and '09. "I think it's more special because it's after three years of not being there," Guerrero said. "I'm happy to go back to Anaheim where I played for six years, but I feel happy because I have five guys going with me." Having already decided the starters and this week the final player on each team, fans once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game. The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and 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. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.