All-Stars can be a somewhat divisive subject. Is it truly a showing of the greatest players in MLB, or is it just a popularity contest? There are arguments for either side. It does usually showcase the best of the best, but as last year’s NL All-Star team showed with the number of Cubs, some of whom were definitely not the best of their position, it can just be a popularity contest.
This can lead to fans feeling ambivalent about it, and not worrying about taking the time to vote in their teams best or most deserving players. Dodgers fans have long have the reputation that they don’t put as much effort into getting members of their squad to the Mid-Summer Classic. Although in a highly scientific poll I ran on Twitter recently, 49% replied that they do vote for All-Stars.
One fan especially has taken this task to heart. Angie (@4Ev3rblue on Twitter) is leading a one-woman charge to get Justin Turner into the All-Star game. There is no doubt that JT is deserving of this honor. Before having to sit out for a brief DL stint due to a hamstring strain, Turner was leading all of MLB with a .379 BA. Perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado is batting .299. Kris Bryant is batting just a measly .268. (Here is where the popularity part of it comes in.) Of course, batting average is not the be-all and end-all of what makes one an All-Star, but JT sure has shown he deserves to be there. I asked Angie why it’s so important for her to make sure that he does indeed make it to Miami.
“I’ve been in awe of Justin Turner since he joined the club in 2014 and hit .340 off the bench. We’ve all watched him become an elite hitter, defender and a leader. After I met him at a spectrum event and saw how great he was with all the fans, I decided I had to make it my mission to get LA fans voting. We all know he deserves it but it’s up to us to take the time to vote.”
Angie is giving away her own personal items to people who show her screenshots of their voting for JT and other Dodgers for the All-Star game.
“Pretty much all the Dodgers gear I can bear to part with I put in the prize packs,” she says.
She is doing this all on her own. For the grand prize, she will be buying the winner two tickets to an upcoming Dodgers game. Angie’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Justin Turner himself, as he has liked and retweeted some of her tweets to this effect.
“Justin Turner is the most underrated player in baseball. He’s an All-Star on and off the field. We may not have enough votes to beat Kris Bryant, but I hope we have enough to show JT we know he’s a star. Enough to show him how much we appreciate him staying in Dodger Blue,” Angie said.
There is no doubt that Justin has shown himself to be an All-Star off the field, too. He has his own foundation, the JT Foundation, which includes supporting such causes as homeless veterans and children, in addition to families battling life altering illnesses. He shows up unannounced to greet the fans, like at a recent Pantone294 event, and he goes out of his way to get A.J. Ellis‘s son chocolate milk when that’s all he really wants. If Angie can put all this time and effort into it, what’s 30 seconds out of your day to vote for him, too?
Chris Taylor is also more than deserving of your all-star vote. Initially left off the team because he didn’t play in the outfield, he has been Mr. Steady and Dependable since he has been called up this season. Currently sporting a slash line of .318/.413/.543/.956, he has played well in the infield and in center field where he has very limited experience. After only hitting one home run in the majors up until this season, he has seven home runs so far including two grand slams. You will not find him on the ballot, but he is easy to enter as a write-in.
As of last Tuesday, All-Star voting numbers are as follows: Yasmani Grandal is fifth for catchers; Justin Turner is third for third-base, behind both Bryant and Arenado. Corey Seager is first amongst shortstops, and Yasiel Puig is 14th for outfielders. Fans can vote five times a day up to 35 times total for one email address until Thursday, June 29 at 11:59 PM EST. Electronic ballots can be found on both MLB.com and Dodgers.com. The 2017 All-Star Game will be Tuesday, July 11, at Marlins Park in Miami.
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