Fort Meade’s Andrew McCutchen might be making his fourth Major League All-Star Game appearance next week, but he’s recording a first in doing so.
That’s because fans voted McCutchen into the game this year, the first time that has happened. In fact, he was the leading vote getter among all National League outfielders.
He is the first Pirates position player to be named to four consecutive All-Star teams since Bobby Bonilla from 1988-1991. The 27-year-old McCutchen is also the first Pirates outfielder to be named to the All-Star team in four consecutive years since Roberto Clemente was named to four straight from 1969-1972.
“It’s a great feeling, definitely. And I’m happy I’ll have some guys to accompany me,” McCutchen said, referring to teammates Josh Harrison and Tony Watson who were also picked as part of the NL roster, although not by fans. “It takes us winning to get the recognition. We’ve done that the past couple of years.”
McCutchen led the way with 4,519,440 votes among NL outfielders. He was followed by Carlos Gomez (4,068,745) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Yasiel Puig (4,059,746) of the Los Angeles Dodgers who will join him as starters.
“Being in the All-Star Game is enough in itself. Being No. 1 [in voting for outfielders[ is a plus, really cool,” he told the Pirates official team website.
“It’s a tremendous honor for him and for us as an organization,” Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. “It shows that fans across the country are recognizing what a great player he is, and sometimes that’s hard in smaller markets. His personality helps; he’s such a fun player to watch and such a great person, a great guy to root for. It’s so much fun to see the national fans recognize what a great player and person he is by putting this honor on him.”
McCutchen will become the first Pirates player to start an All-Star Game since Jason Bay in 2006 when the city of Pittsburgh hosted the game. McCutchen joins Clemente (1960-67 and 1969-72) and Ralph Kiner (1948-1952) as one of just three outfielders in Pirates history to represent the team in at least four consecutive All-Star Games.
The voting comes after the former Miner was named the National League Player of the Month for June.
He led the NL in extra-base hits during the month of June, clubbing 12 doubles and eight home runs in 26 games. The three-time All-Star was tied for the league lead in home runs and RBI (25). McCutchen also ranked among league leaders in slugging (2nd, .686), hits (tied 2nd, 36), doubles (tied 2nd) and runs scored (tied 6th, 19) while posting a .343 (36-for-105) batting average. The reigning NL Most Valuable Player had a .410 on-base percentage for the month and swiped five bases.