NEW YORK – Greek-American outfielder Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves is on the roster for the National League in Major League Baseball’s All-Star game on July 17. This will be the first appearance for Markakis in the All-Star game after 13 seasons in the majors. He leads the NL with 108 hits this season. On Twitter, MLB Stat of the Day posted, “It’s been a long time coming for Nick Markakis,” referring to the fact that he tops the list for most games played before selection to the All-Star game with 1,928.
Markakis won a silver medal with Team Greece in the European National Championships in 2003 and played for the Greek Olympic baseball team at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
The lineups for the midsummer classic were announced on July 8. Also among the All-Star players, Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts in the outfield for the American League, and Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer make up a not-so-gracious welcome committee for the NL, the Associated Press reported.
Harper will be in his usual spot at his home ballpark in Washington, while Trout is working on perhaps the best season of his stellar career with the Los Angeles Angels. Judge has 25 homers and 58 RBIs for the New York Yankees, and Betts is batting .342 with 22 homers for the major league-leading Boston Red Sox.
But that’s just the beginning for the AL. Houston Astros second baseman and reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve led the fan balloting with 4.8 million votes. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado will make the short trip down to D.C. for the July 17 game with speculation increasing about his future ahead of the trade deadline.
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez and Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos round out the AL’s starting lineup.
Harper was voted a starter for the fourth straight year. The slugger, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is batting just .218 for the disappointing Nationals, but he has 21 homers and 50 RBIs.
Markakis and Matt Kemp will join Harper in the NL outfield. Markakis has been a key performer for the surprising Atlanta Braves this year. Kemp’s return to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been a smashing success.
The Chicago Cubs will have two starters after catcher Willson Contreras and second baseman Javier Baez each won a close race at their position in fan balloting. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford round out the NL starting lineup.
Scherzer was selected for the sixth time. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 11-5 with a 2.33 ERA and could get the start in his home ballpark.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.