Justin Turner celebrates first All-Star selection in real time
Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t know if he made his first-ever All-Star Game until he found out along with the rest of the country, while watching the selection show Thursday on MLB Network.
The veteran third baseman was packed into a room at Dodger Stadium prior to the Dodgers’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks when he heard his name called as the winner of the National League Final Vote.
Surrounded by a loyal group of fans — known as Pantone 294 — who spent 24 consecutive hours voting for him online, Turner celebrated with his fiancé and dog as it was announced that he garnered a record 20.8 million votes to beat Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs for the 32nd spot on the National League roster next week in Miami.
Turner, who took to Twitter to thank everyone involved in the #VoteJT campaign, entered Thursday hitting .384/.473/.571 with 17 doubles and eight home runs across 61 games in the first season of a four-year, $64 million contract signed this past winter. The 32-year-old originally joined the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee during spring training in 2014.
Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy, known for his dry humor on social media, didn’t disappoint as the Final Vote campaign neared its conclusion. Turner’s alma mater, Cal State Fullerton, also acknowledged the accomplishment, as did fellow third baseman and Southern California native Mike Moustakas, who won the American League Final Vote representing the Kansas City Royals.
The 20.8 million votes in favor of Turner broke the previous record of 19.7 million that Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves received in 2013. Turner became the first Dodgers player to win the Final Vote since Nomar Garciaparrain 2006 and the first Dodgers third baseman to earn an All-Star bid since Mike Sharperson in 1992.
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