Manny Machado turned 21 Saturday, and he received the perfect birthday gift from the Oriole and baseball fans out there.
His first All-Star appearance.
Machado, the Orioles young spark at 3B, was named an AL All-Star Saturday as a reserve.
“I mean, I worked hard in the off-season to set my goals, and obviously for this, to make the All-Star Game and the playoffs as a team,” Machado told MASNSports. “You really don’t anticipate it until it happens. Now, it’s here. I’m going to be an All-Star. That’s pretty great, pretty exciting to say.”
In just his second season in the majors, Machado is currently hitting.316 with 6 HRs, 42 RBIs and leading the league in doubles.
His defense also has been noted, as he has just six errors in 270 chances at the hot corner.
Joining Machado in New York on July 16th will be 1B Chris Davis, SS JJ Hardy and OF Adam Jones.
Even better? Those three joining Machado will be starters for the AL.
With three starters, it is the biggest representation among the 1st team for the Orioles since 1997 when Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken, and Brady Anderson took the field first for the American League.
No other AL Team has more than one starter.
The last time the Orioles had four All-Stars was 2005, when 2B Brian Roberts, SS Miguel Tejada, CL BJ Ryan, and 3B Melvin Mora all went to the Midsummer Classic-with Mora as a reserve.
Davis, who led the MLB in voting, is a legitimate MVP candidate as he is leading the majors in home runs with 33.
“It still feels good,” Davis told reporters postgame. “I think anytime you are getting that recognition not only from your fan base but from everybody across the nation, I think it feels good to know that people are watching. I think what we did last year toward the end of the season really kind of opened people’s eyes to the fact that there’s some good baseball being played in Baltimore.
Davis will be going to his first ever All-Star game. Along with his 33 HRs, Davis is also 2nd in the majors in RBIs to last year MVP and Triple Crown candidate, Miguel Cabrera.
Davis is also sixth in the majors with his .324 batting mark and is 14th in hits with 102.
OF Adam Jones, who will be going to his second consecutive All-Star game and his third in four years, is currently hitting .287 with 15 HRs and 59 RBIs for Buck Showalter’s squad.
Despite a threat from Angels OF Mike Trout, Jones was the leading vote getter among AL OFs. It marks his first ever start.
SS JJ Hardy makes the team as a two-time All-Star-his first as an Oriole and as a member of the American League.
It’s also his first ever start; he last made the NL All-Star team in 2007 as a member of the Brewers but lost out on a starting bid to Jose Reyes.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of all the fans in Baltimore and everyone else that voted. It means a lot to me.
Hardy led all AL SS in home runs (15) and RBIs (46) and has a .980 fielding percentage in 350 chances.
Not making the team was catcher Matt Wieters, a two-time All-Star and OF Nick Markakis. OF Nate McLouth had consideration for some of the voting process but also will not be headed to Citi Field come July 16th.
The game will air on Fox.
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