NEW YORK — Chris Davis’ first-half power surge made him one popular All-Star.
Baltimore’s first baseman with the cool nickname “Crush” slugged his way past Detroit’s Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in the final week to claim the most fan votes in the Major League Baseball All-Star game balloting.
“I think any time 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,” said Davis, one of 30 first-time All-Stars.
The league that wins the All-Star game gains home-field advantage in the World Series. The NL won the last three Midsummer Classics and World Series titles.
Davis, a Longview native who played at Navarro College, finished with 8,272,243 fan votes to edge Cabrera, who had 8,013,874. Through games of Saturday, July 6, Davis had 85 RBIs, matching his career high and only three fewer than Cabrera. But he had hit 33 homers, seventh best before the break in big-league history — he has a week to catch Barry Bond’s 39.
Davis is the second first-time All-Star to lead the voting, joining Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (2001).
The 27-year-old Davis is one of three Orioles selected by the fans, the first time that has happened since Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the picks in 1997.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones will take the field with Davis. Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado was selected as a reserve.