With three All-Star starters, O's a formidable presence
Club features starting trio for first time since 1997 in Davis, Hardy and Jones
NEW YORK -- It's been 16 years since the Orioles could say they had three starters in the All-Star Game, and it's been just as long since they last had five players overall named to the American League squad.
But the Orioles are one of the best-represented teams at the 84th All-Star Game at Citi Field (Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX), thanks to the efforts of outfielder Adam Jones, first baseman Chris Davis, shortstop J.J. Hardy, third baseman Manny Machado and pitcher Chris Tillman. Davis, Hardy and Jones were voted in by the fans to form the first starting trio of Orioles since 1997, while Machado was selected as an AL reserve and Tillman was named to the team on Sunday in place of Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
"It's fun to be here representing the Orioles with all these guys," Hardy said. "It makes it a little bit more comfortable for all of us, and it's going to be incredible to just look around the clubhouse [Tuesday] night and see so many familiar faces."
Not only are the three starters the most for the Orioles since '97, when Cal Ripken Jr., Roberto Alomar and Brady Anderson all started for the AL, but it's the best representation for any AL team in this year's All-Star Game. The Tigers are next with two starters (including starting pitcher Max Scherzer) and the Angels, Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Twins each had one player elected to the starting lineup.
All three starters were voted in by the fans, with Davis racking up more fan votes than any other player. Hardy pulled away from Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, winning the starting shortstop bid by more than two million votes.
In the outfield, Jones managed to edge out Angels phenom Mike Trout as the top vote-getter among AL outfielders. Baltimore's other two outfielders, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth, also narrowly missed out on All-Star bids, finishing fourth and fifth in the voting, respectively.
"It's awesome, and it really says two things. One, on the field, we're obviously doing things that warranted all of us being here together," Jones said. "But it also shows that 'Birdland' went out and voted. Baltimore voted unbelievable. We beat out some huge markets, and we appreciate everyone that was involved in the voting process."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
The O's trio of All-Star starters is led by Davis, who set an AL record with 37 homers prior to the All-Star break. The first-time All-Star also competed in Monday's Chevrolet Home Run Derby.
As for Jones, he will be making his first career start in the All-Star Game and third appearance overall. He finished the first half hitting .296 with 19 home runs, including five go-ahead shots, and 67 RBIs. Hardy, meanwhile, has crushed 16 long balls this season in earning his second career All-Star nod. A Gold Glove winner a season ago, Hardy is also the only shortstop to surpass the 20-homer plateau in each of the last two seasons.
The Orioles' strong All-Star contingent comes just one year after Baltimore sent three players to the Midsummer Classic, though zero were voted in as starters in 2012. A reserve outfielder a season ago, Jones was joined by O's catcher Matt Wieters and closer Jim Johnson.
This year, Jones will start in center field and bat seventh on Tuesday night. Davis, meanwhile, will hit cleanup and Hardy is penciled into the nine-hole.
"Three was amazing last year, and now we've got five," Jones said. "It's good to have five, and it's incredible to share this with so many teammates. And to have three starters voted in by the fans, that's a humbling experience, and I can't even describe how it feels."