Chicago Cubs: It's official: Javy Baez and Willson Contreras named starters for 2019 All-Star game
|Thursday, June 27, 2019, 8:04 PM-|
CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Báez and catcher Willson Contreras today were named to the National League All-Star team, voted by fans to start the 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game Tuesday, July 9 at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
Both Báez and Contreras will start the All-Star Game for the second year in a row, though Báez was the N.L.’s starting second baseman in 2018. Báez is only the third player in major league history to start an All-Star Game at both shortstop and second base, the first to do so in consecutive seasons. Contreras is the first Cubs catcher to start consecutive All-Star games since Gabby Hartnett in 1936-37. The Cubs will have at least two players start the All-Star Game for the third time in the last four seasons, joining last year and 2016 when five Cubs were elected to start and four did so.
Báez joins Bobby Grich and Granny Hamner as the lone players to start an All-Star Game at both shortstop and second base. Grich did so once at shortstop (1972) and twice at second base (1976, 1982), all in the American League, while Hamner did so once at shortstop (1952) and once at second base (1954) in the National League. Báez is the first Cub shortstop to make the All-Star team since Addison Russell started in 2016 and only the fourth Cub to start the game at shortstop in franchise history, joining Russell, Don Kessinger (1968-70, 1972) and Ernie Banks (1955, 1958-60).
Contreras is the first Cub to start the All-Star game at the same position in consecutive seasons since outfielder Sammy Sosa did so four years in a row from 1999-2002. Contreras is only the fourth different N.L. catcher to start the game in consecutive seasons in the last 25 years, joining Buster Posey (2015-17), Yadier Molina (2009-10) and Mike Piazza (1994-99, 2001-02, 2004-05). Contreras remains only the fourth Cubs catcher to make the squad in the last 40 years, joining Geovany Soto (starter in 2008), Joe Girardi (2000) and Jody Davis (1984, 1986).
The remainder of the National League All-Star team will be announced on Sunday, June 30.