For the first time since Luis Gonzalez in 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a position player voted in to be a starter in the MLB All-Star Game.
On Sunday, Paul Goldschmidt became that first person as he was named the National League’s starter at first base after receiving 3,516,890 votes, ahead of the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez (1,888,648) and Cardinals’ Matt Adams (1,746,904). The 2013 NL Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award winner at first base was in fifth place in the initial balloting figures on May 28, and accumulated 2,732,864 votes over the last four updates, when he was second with 784,026.
“The fans having been putting in as much time and effort as the stories I’ve heard,” Goldschmidt said on Monday. “I am just very thankful for their support. I know they have a lot of other things they could be doing with their time and money rather than coming to the games or taking the time to vote, not just for me but for the other guys on the team.”
This is now Goldschmidt’s second All-Star appearance as we was selected as a reserve on the team in 2013. He mentions how he was surprised by how enjoyable the experience was the first time around and is excited to return.
“It’s a huge honor,” he mentioned. “I had a lot of fun last year and am really looking forward to going again this year and it will be fun to start the game. I think it speaks very highly of the fans and how much they voted. Especially these last couple of weeks.”
Though Goldschmidt already announced that he will not participate in the home run derby, he noted that all of the All-Star festivities were something he always looked forward to tuning into every year growing up as a baseball fan.
“I have memories of watching the home run derby with my brothers and parents,” he explained. “I was a huge baseball fan growing up and wanted it in any way.”
This All-Star game in particular will also mark the last for Yankees Shortstop and future Hall-of-Famer, Derek Jeter. Some Goldschmidt notes will be special to be a part of.
“He is one of the greatest to ever play,” said Goldschmidt. “I remember watching him play on TV growing up just like a majority of the guys in the major leagues right now. Last year I was very fortunate when Mariano Rivera came in with New York. It was really special to be a part of.”
Goldschmidt becomes the first Diamondback to make consecutive All-Star teams since pitcher Dan Haren in 2008-09. His numbers as of being officially announced as a member of the team is a .310 batting average with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 58 RBI, 50 walks and 64 runs scored in 89 games this season. He entered Sunday’s games as the only player in the Majors with at least 15 home runs and 30 doubles.