Story By: Hal Jalikakik
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Four Washington Nationals players were named 2016 Major League All-Stars this week during the “Esurance All-Star Selection Show” on ESPN, with outfielder Bryce Harper, second baseman Daniel Murphy, catcher Wilson Ramos and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg all awarded the annual midseason honor.
It marks only the second time in Nationals history (2005-present) that the club will send as many as four representatives to the Midsummer Classic. Washington also had four All-Star players in 2012. Harper, 23, and the 2015 NL MVP, will start in the NL outfield for the third time in his career and earned his fourth career All-Star selection by garnering 2,865,095 fan votes, the highest vote total among all NL outfielders. He joins Hall of Famers Gary Carter (4) and Andre Dawson (3) as the only players in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to earn at least three fan elections to the All-Star Game.
For second baseman Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with Washington this past offseason and leads the NL in batting average (.347) and hits (108), this is the second All-Star selection of his career (also 2014).
It’s the first All-Star nod for Ramos, 28, who currently leads all qualified Major League catchers in several categories including batting average (.340), RBI (46), home runs (T1st, 13) and fewest strikeouts (34). Ramos was elected via player vote.
Finally, for Strasburg, the only remaining qualified starting pitcher in MLB not to suffer a losing decision, the All-Star nod is the second of his career (also 2012). At 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA, Strasburg is the first NL starter to begin a season 11-0 since San Diego right-hander Andy Hawkins went 11-0 in 1985. He was selected to the 2016 All-Star team by National League manager Terry Collins.
Editor’s Note: The 2016 Major League All-Star Game will take place at Petco Park in San Diego, on Tuesday, July 12.