Because I lived in Florida, this was one of the rare opportunities to see a few of my beloved Dodgers play on TV. It was also the only time during the regular season when baseball fans could see the American and National League stars matched up against one another. This was, of course, long before interleague games changed the playing field.
The game is still a lot of fun and you can bet I’ll be watching July 14 when baseball’s best get together in Cincinnati. Before that happens, we fans need to exercise our rights to elect the players who will represent the leagues in a battle for home-field advantage in the World Series.
Don’t get me started on that ridiculous rule.
With that, I present one fan’s All-Star ballot, subject to admiration and ridicule from the masses. I’m also including the vote leaders as of June 22. By the way, what’s up with all the Royals ballot box-stuffing? Something has to be done about that.
Stephen Vogt (A’s): Most people filling out All-Star ballots probably had to look up Vogt’s first name. He’s hitting almost .300 with more than 50 RBI at the midway mark.
Fans pick: Salvador Perez (Royals)
Buster Posey (Giants): An excellent combination of offense and defense, Posey is the class of the position in the National League. The Giants sometimes put him at first base to keep him in the lineup on what would normally be a catcher’s day off.
Fans pick: Buster Posey
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): Already a Triple Crown winner, Cabrera is second in the league in hitting. Cabrera’s 2012 and 2013 seasons are among the best back-to-back years in big-league history.
Fans pick: Miguel Cabrera
Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks): The Diamondbacks’ announcers have an annoying habit of calling Goldschmidt “America’s First Baseman.” He could actually be a legit MVP candidate — on a below-average team.
Fans pick: Paul Goldschmidt
Jason Kipnis (Indians): Kipnis is hitting more than 100 points better than last season is among the leaders in batting average. He’s the best in a thin position. Houston’s Jose Altuve is a viable candidate.
Fans pick: Omar Infante (Royals)
Dee Gordon (Marlins): No way you can leave the major-league leader in hits off the team. Going into play June 28, Gordon was 11 hits above his nearest competition. Looks like back-to-back All-Star appearances for him.
Fans pick: Dee Gordon
Xavier Bogaerts (Red Sox): Another position without many viable candidates. Bogaerts is hitting almost .300 for a struggling Red Sox team.
Fans pick: Alcides Escobar (Royals)
Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals): Peralta is trying to hit .300 for only the second time in his 13-year career. He has benefitted from playing in a good St. Louis lineup and vice versa.
Fans pick: Peralta
Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays): Donaldson’s first season in Toronto has been stellar. Donaldson (pictured at right) is one of the reasons why the Blue Jays should stay in contention for the entire season.
Fans pick: Mike Moustakas (Royals)
Nolan Arenado (Rockies): Arguably baseball’s best fielding third baseman, Arenado is turning up the power this season. He had more homers just before the halfway point of the season than he had all last year.
Fans pick: Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)
Yeonis Cespedes (Tigers): Detroit is his third organization since entering the league in 2012. The Tigers should keep the Cuban defector around a while.
Brett Gardner (Yankees): Choosing Gardner over Yeonis Cespedes was a tough call. The Yankees left fielder barely wins out.
J.D. Martinez (Tigers): Martinez started making a name for himself last season with a .315 average and 23 homers. He’s carrying through in 2015.
Mike Trout (Angels): Already a Rookie of the Year and MVP, Trout is one of the most exciting players in the game. He’s already had a stellar first half of the season, no surprise.
Fans picks: Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon (Royals), Mike Trout
Bryce Harper (Nationals): Only 22 years old, Harper is one of baseball’s most exciting stars. Barring injury, he’ll challenge 50 homers and 120 RBI.
A.J. Pollock (Diamondbacks): Pollock already has career highs in homers and stolen bases in what has been a solid first half. His stats are worthy of an All-Star spot.
Andrew McCutchen (Pirates): McCutchen lost his dreadlocks and some of his power. He projects 20 homers after hitting 25 last season. He’s still an All-Star. Before his injury, Giancarlo Stanton would have been a good choice.
Fans picks: Harper, Matt Holiday (Cardinals) and Stanton
Nelson Cruz (Mariners): Even without the use of PEDs, Nelson is deserving of a spot. He gives Seattle a rare shot of power.
Fans pick: Kendrys Morales (Royals)
Voting ends Thursday, so get on mlb.com to make your voice heard. Just lay off the Royals a little.
Photo of Bryce Harper by Cathy T (Washington, D.C.) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/misschatter/7234657076/.
Photo of Josh Donaldson by by Keith Allison at http://flickr.com/photos/27003603@N00/17096275956.