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Hamilton declines to participate in Derby

Rangers star has not competed since historic performance in '08
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who is baseball's leading vote-getter for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City after the first ballot update, told reporters Tuesday he will not participate in this year's State Farm Home Run Derby.

Hamilton set a Derby record with 28 homers in the first round of the 2008 contest at Yankee Stadium, but has not participated since. He has already told the Commissioner's Office he will not participate this year at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's just not the right time," Hamilton said. "I haven't done it the past couple of years. I want to be healthy and the best I can be. I don't want to risk anything entertaining the fans. So I respectfully declined again. You just take one swing ... you've got to be smart about it."

Hamilton eventually lost out to Minnesota's Justin Morneau in 2008 despite the historic performance in the first round. The Rangers slugger, who has amassed 2,587,991 All-Star votes as of last count, is on track to start in the American League outfield for the fifth consecutive Midsummer Classic.

Hamilton currently leads the AL with 21 homers.

Robinson Cano, who won last year's contest in Phoenix, has been named the captain for the AL's Derby team. Matt Kemp will head the National League squad.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬

Texas Rangers, Josh Hamilton