Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson has been voted into the American League starting lineup for this year’s All-Star Game. He will join baseball’s best in Miami on July 11.
Dickerson trailed Seattle’s Nelson Cruz since balloting began a month ago, but came on strong to take a 60,000-vote lead when Major League Baseball announced the final update this week. Balloting closed on Thursday night, and the entire team was announced Sunday.
Dickerson is having the best season of his 5-year career, hitting .325 with 17 home runs and 40 runs batted in. He leads the league in hits with 104.
He becomes the second Tampa Bay player ever voted into the starting lineup in their 20-year history. Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford and David Price all started 2010 game. This is Dickerson’s first All-Star selection.
“Even though it would have been special just to make the team,” Dickerson told RaysBaseball.com, “winning the fan vote showed how much the fans care, and how much it is a fan’s game. It feels like that hard work is appreciated and I’m very thankful.”
Dickerson is officially the only member of the Rays selected to the team, but there is a chance a teammate could join him. Logan Morrison and four others were named for the American League’s Final Vote.
Morrison is having a monster season at the plate. He is second in the league in home runs with 24 and has 57 runs batted in. Fans have until Thursday at 4:00 p.m. to vote.
Manager Kevin Cash also saluted the fans for voting in Dickerson and hopes they can mobilize one more time for Morrison.
“I think it’s tremendous,” he said. “Good support from our fans. I know fans vote from all over the country, but I would image a lot of them came from the Bay Area and the state of Florida. So, it’s good to see (a Rays player) get some recognition.”
Cleveland’s Terry Francona will manage the American League, while former Rays’ manager and current Chicago Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon will guide the National League.