White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is an American League All-Star.
For the fifth time in his career and for the first time via the online Fan Vote for the final position player spot on the roster, Konerko was selected Thursday with more than 8.4 million votes.
The voting closed on Thursday with Konerko getting more votes than Tigers designated hitter-catch Vic Martinez, who finished second. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist were also on the ballot.
The All-Star Game is Tuesday in Phoenix, where Konerko makes his home. Konerko entered the Sox’ game against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday night with a .319 average, 64 RBI and 22 homers. He had a .961 OPS and .572 slugging percentage.
“I’m happy,” Konerko said before the Sox hosted the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field. “I think you always want to go to the game if you can. It’s a good time and something you always remember. It’s a special thing, especially growing up watching the games on TV.
“Had I not won the vote or whatever, I still enjoy the break and the rest for those four days. But if you have a chance to go, you only have one time through this thing as far as your career so I need a chance to go play in something like that. For me, I don’t think you ever play long enough or do enough where going to the All-Star Game isn’t a big deal. It’s always a big deal.”
Teammate Carlos Quentin was named to the team on Sunday. The right fielder was not in the lineup because of a recent slump and his 0-for-17 lifetime numbers against Twins starter Carl Pavano.
Konerko led for most of the balloting period that opened Sunday and closed at 3 p.m. Thursday, but Martinez closed the gap on Thursday.
This was the third time Konerko was on the fan ballot and the second time in the last two seasons.