07/06/2008 3:00 PM ET
Seven Red Sox players selected to 2008 American League All-Star team
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox today had seven players selected to play for the American League in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will take place on Tuesday, July 15 at Yankee Stadium.
The complete American and National League teams were announced today by Major League Baseball.
The seven All-Stars include four starters elected in fan balloting: first baseman Kevin Youkilis, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, outfielder Manny Ramirez, and designated hitter David Ortiz, who has been replaced on the team due to injury but will participate in the All-Star activities. Named to the squad by vote of managers, coaches, and players were righthanded reliever Jonathan Papelbon, catcher Jason Varitek, and outfielder J.D. Drew.
The seven All-Star selections are the most for a team since seven Chicago White Sox were chosen for the 2006 game. It will be the fifth time that the Red Sox have had at least seven total players selected to the All-Star Team.
Youkilis, who will be appearing in his first All-Star game, received 2,858,130 votes to finish ahead of Minnesota's Justin Morneau. It marks the third straight season that a Red Sox was elected at first base with David Ortiz winning the voting in 2006 and 2007. Overall, Youkilis will be the seventh Red Sox player to start an All-Star Game at first base, the others being Jimmie Foxx (1938; 40), Walt Dropo (1950), Mickey Vernon (1956), George Scott (1966), and Mo Vaughn (1996). Vaughn was a replacement for the injured Frank Thomas.
Pedroia beat out Texas' Ian Kinsler with 2,492,698 votes in earning his first All-Star selection. He is the second Red Sox second baseman to be elected since fan balloting resumed in 1970, joining Mark Loretta in 2006, and the sixth Red Sox second base starter overall, the others being Bobby Doerr (1941-43-43-46-50), Billy Goodman (1953), Pete Runnels (1960, both games), and Felix Mantilla (1965).
Ramirez, who finished second among outfielders behind Texas' Josh Hamilton with 3,428,577 votes, was selected to his 12th All-Star Team, including all eight years with the Red Sox. He has been elected in fan balloting nine times, including each year from 1999-2006 before being a reserve in 2007. Ramirez has appeared in eight mid-summer classics as he did not play in the 2000, 2003, and 2006 games.
Ortiz, who has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a partially torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, was elected to start for the fourth consecutive year, receiving 3,554,209 votes. He was selected as the A.L. designated hitter in 2005, when he led all ML players with 4,138.141 votes, and was the fans' choice at first base in 2006 and 2007. Ortiz was a reserve on the 2004 A.L. team.
Papelbon is on the A.L. squad for the third consecutive year and is the fourth Boston player to ever be selected to the mid-summer classic in each of his first three big league seasons, joining Frank Malzone (1957-59); Carlton Fisk (1972-74); and Fred Lynn (1975-77). He was third in the voting among A.L. relief pitchers.
Varitek will be making his third All-Star selection. He was selected in the final man on-line voting in 2003 and was an elected starter behind the plate in 2005. He placed second in the manager/coach/player voting at catcher to Minnesota's Joe Mauer.
Drew will be going to an All-Star Game for the first time after finishing third in the outfield voting by managers, coaches, and players.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona will guide the A.L. All-Stars for the second time after winning the 2005 game in Detroit. Francona will be joined at this year's All-Star Game by his coaching staff, Luis Alicea, John Farrell, DeMarlo Hale, Dave Magadan, Brad Mills, and Gary Tuck.
ALL-STAR NOTES: The Red Sox had eight All-Stars in 1946 (Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Dave Ferriss, Mickey Harris, Johnny Pesky, Hal Wagner, Ted Williams, Rudy York) and seven each in 1977 (Rick Burleson, Bill Campbell, Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, George Scott, Carl Yastrzemski); 1978 (Burleson-INJ; Dwight Evans, Fisk, Lynn, Jerry Remy, Rice, Yastrzemski-INJ); and 2002 (Johnny Damon, Nomar Garciaparra, Shea Hillenbrand, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez-INJ, Manny Ramirez, Ugueth Urbina)...Urbina replaced Martinez on the 2002 team, so Boston had just six players originally selected...Manny Ramirez' selection to the All-Star Team in eight consecutive years (2001-08) matches Wade Boggs (1985-92) for the second longest such streak in Red Sox history to 15 for Carl Yastrzemski (1965-79). Bobby Doerr played in nine straight All-Star Games from 1941-51 but there was no game played in 1945...Boston last has as many as four elected starters in 2005 when catcher Jason Varitek, outfielders Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, and DH David Ortiz were all in the lineup for the A.L.