LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has earned a trip back to Dodger Stadium, and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is taking a dream come true to another level.
Contreras was voted into the All-Star Game as the National League starter at the catcher position. This is his third All-Star honor (2018 and 2019), having started each time.
“I can’t believe it,” Contreras said. “This means everything to me to be (in the organization) 13 years, and I am very grateful and proud of everything I have done here.
“I would love nothing more than to play for the Chicago Cubs for the rest of my life, and obviously those kinds of things are out of my control, but I’m very excited and proud.”
Anderson, who recently described his first All-Star experience last year as a “dream come true,” returns to the game, this time as a starter. Anderson edged out Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays in Friday’s final vote and was named the AL’s starting shortstop for the Midsummer Classic, which takes place July 19 in Los Angeles.
Anderson received 55% of the vote to Bichette’s 45%.
“It wasn’t long in my first year here when I said I was as good as anybody,” Red Sox manager Tony La Russa said before Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field. “If you watch it long enough, then you’ll see, you rank it with the best game.”
Contreras, a free agent after 2022, is in the midst of the best offensive season of his seven-year career. He is third in the NL with a .392 on-base percentage and is tied for the major league lead with the Dodgers’ Will Smith among catchers with 13 home runs. Contreras’ .890 OPS also leads the NL at his position.
Contreras joins Gabby Hartnett (1934, 1936-37) as the only catchers in Cubs history to make three All-Star starts. He’s also just the fourth Cubs wide receiver in the past 40 years to make an All-Star team. Contreras becomes the 10th player in Cubs history to make at least three All-Star starts along with Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Stan Hack, Hartnett, Billy Herman, Don Kessinger, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo and Sammy Bland.
Contreras is still day-to-day with left hamstring strain, but hopes to play sometime during the Cubs’ four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium.
Anderson entered Friday with a .313/.352/.422 slash line in 55 games. He had five home runs, 20 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
Anderson will be the first Sox shortstop to start the All-Star Game since Luis Aparicio in 1970. He is the fourth Sox shortstop to start, joining Aparicio (seven times), Chico Carrasquel (three times) and Luke Appling (two times). ).
Anderson was one of four Sox players on the American League roster last year at Coors Field in Denver, joining pitchers Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodón and Liam Hendriks.
Anderson entered that game at shortstop in the eighth and was in the on-deck circle in the top of the ninth when the final out of the inning was recorded.
Anderson may be joined this year by starter Dylan Cease. The right-hander is 7-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 17 starts and entered Friday tied for the AL lead with 133 strikeouts.
The pitchers and reserves, added through a combination of player ballot picks and selections from the commissioner’s office, will be announced Sunday at 4:30 pm on ESPN.