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Dickerson named AL All-Star designated hitter

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- America's voters have spoken. Corey Dickerson is the American League DH for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

"When he's feeling good at the plate, he's as dangerous as anybody in baseball," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The fact that he can beat you to all parts of the field."

ST. PETERSBURG -- America's voters have spoken. Corey Dickerson is the American League DH for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

"When he's feeling good at the plate, he's as dangerous as anybody in baseball," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The fact that he can beat you to all parts of the field."

Sunday night the final results were released, and Dickerson finished first in the voting for the AL DH. The announcement culminated weeks of buildup that saw Dickerson climb from fourth place on May 31, to third on June 20, to second on Monday, and first on Thursday. He then held on to become the first Rays player voted into the Midsummer Classic since 2010.

Dickerson could be joined by another Rays player, as Logan Morrison is among the five players who are candidates for entry onto the AL roster through the Final Vote.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Cash saluted the fans for voting in Dickerson.

"I think it's tremendous," Cash said. "Good support from our fans. I know fans vote from all over the country, but I would imagine a lot of them came from the [Tampa] Bay Area and the state of Florida. So it's good to see [a Rays player] getting some recognition."

Dickerson, who's hitting .325 this season with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs, said being voted to the team made the news more special.

"Even though it would have been special to just make the team," said Dickerson, who credited his wife and son for playing an integral part in his success. "Winning the fan vote showed how much the fans care, and how much it is a fans' game. It feels like that hard work is appreciated and I'm very thankful."

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Dickerson is just the fourth Rays player voted in as a starter, along with Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and Jose Canseco.

"I'm very glad I'm an All-Star, but every day that I don't succeed, I feel like I could have done better that day," Dickerson said. "My expectations are very high. Making the All-Star team wasn't my goal. It was trying to be the best player for this team and try to make the playoffs. And I knew if I prepared the right way ... then the rewards, like becoming an All-Star, would take place."

The Rays acquired Dickerson in a trade with the Rockies prior to the 2016 season. He struggled at the beginning of last season before finishing at .245 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs. He also was hindered by several injuries in 2016, which helped motivate him to lose weight in the offseason. He did so, dropping 25 pounds to further enhance efforts for improvement in 2017.

Cash couldn't say enough about Dickerson and his effort.

"I think just the way he has bounced back from a year of the unknown," Cash said. "Not knowing the [American League]. Not knowing opposing pitchers. Not knowing really how to DH. And he's handled all of those challenges exceptionally well this year.

"The way he's hit the ball, and the approach he's taken this year, going the other way. ... The way he puts pressure on opposing pitchers and just continues and just continues to battle."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays, Corey Dickerson