France joining J-Rod in LA for All-Star Game

July 18th, 2022

SEATTLE -- At long last, Ty France is an All-Star.

The Mariners’ first baseman on Sunday was added to the American League roster for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic, taking the place of Angels superstar Mike Trout, who has been experiencing upper back spasms. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton will take Trout’s spot in the starting lineup.

“There are a bunch of emotions,” France told reporters after Sunday’s 6-2 win over the Rangers in Arlington, the Mariners' 14th straight victory. “I was very hopeful, but there are a lot of good players in this league, and everyone there is deserving of it. I'm definitely excited to be a part of it.”

France, who reached the final vote to determine who starts the All-Star Game but lost to Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is now heading there for the first time in his young career. And it’s been a whirlwind of a week for him to reach this point. After finishing as the runner-up at first base in that vote, selected exclusively by fans, France was left off the roster altogether when reserves were announced on July 10. Then, when Yordan Alvarez and George Springer pulled out this week, they were replaced by J.D. Martinez and Corey Seager, respectively, due to various replacement methods.

According to a league source, France was an MLB selection, and his addition was made possible due to the player-ballot requirements being fulfilled on the other replacements. There was more flexibility at this stage to add him compared to earlier this week with Martinez, who was the highest player-elected DH that wasn’t originally selected, and Seager, who was an MLB choice to replace Springer, a player-ballot pick.

All said, that made it a particularly tough week for France, especially given that the game will be played at Dodger Stadium, roughly 20 miles from where he grew up in suburban Los Angeles. But in the end, it all worked out for Seattle’s 28-year-old slugger.

“It kind of got to a point where that kind of hope was out the window,” said France, who homered and drove in two runs in Sunday's win.

Despite missing two weeks with a left elbow sprain, France is slashing .308/.376/.470 (.846 OPS) with 11 homers and 49 RBIs, and he was worth 2.1 WAR entering Sunday, per FanGraphs, second in the AL among regular first basemen.

France received the news early Sunday morning in a pregame meeting called by Mariners manager Scott Servais in front of the entire team. After Servais made the announcement, France was mobbed at his locker at Globe Life Field.

“It was a big thrill, obviously,” Servais told reporters. “We all felt that Ty should have been on there much earlier and added to the All-Star team, but good for him. He’s certainly deserving. He's been our most consistent guy throughout the entire first half.”

France was born in Downey, Calif., and attended South Hills High School in nearby West Covina, not far from Dodger Stadium. He grew up an Angels fan mostly due to his aunt having regular tickets, but he attended plenty of games at Chavez Ravine. Beyond growing up in the L.A. area, France also attended San Diego State University and played for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who coached there before his passing in 2014. 

In every sense, France is a SoCal guy, and he’ll have quite a large contingent of family and friends on hand on Tuesday. France was planning to return home to Orange County and have a beach day with his wife, but that’ll have to wait until Wednesday.

“It’s pretty special,” France said. “Just the history alone behind L.A. and Dodger Stadium. To be able to call that my hometown and be able to play my first All-Star Game there, it's a dream come true.”

France will be joined by teammate Julio Rodríguez, who was the only rookie All-Star and who will also compete in Monday’s T-Mobile Home Run Derby. This is the first time that Seattle has had multiple All-Stars since 2018, when Mitch Haniger, Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura and Edwin Díaz played at the event at Nationals Park in Washington.’s Arianna Vedia contributed to this story from Arlington.