For the first time since 2006, the Chicago White Sox will send more than two players to the MLB All-Star Game.
Pitcher Chris Sale, first baseman Paul Konerko and designated hitter Adam Dunn were all named to the 2012 American League all-star team Monday as reserves.
Chicago's starsSince 2003, the White Sox have produced 25players for the All-Star Game, and the Cubs have had 23 players selected for the annual MLB summer classic. Over that same period, the Sox finished with a winning record 6 times, and the Cubs 5 times. Sox pitcher Jake Peavy is among five AL players in the running for the final roster spot.
White Sox all-stars:
2012: Paul Konerko, Chris Sale, Adam Dunn
2011: Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin
2010: Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton
2009: Mark Buehrle
2008: Joe Crede, Carlos Quentin
2007: Bobby Jenks
2006: Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Bobby Jenks, Jose Contreras, A.J. Pierzynski, Jim Thome
2005: Paul Konerko, Jon Garland, Scott Podsednik, Mark Buehrle
2004: Esteban Loaiza
2003: Carl Everett, Esteban Loaiza, Magglio Ordonez
2012: Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair
2011: Starlin Castro
2010: Marlon Bryd
2009: Ted Lilly
2008: Geovany Soto, Carlos Marmol, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez
2007: Derrek Lee, Afonso Soriano
2006: Carlos Zambrano
2005: Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez
2004: Moises Alou, Carlos Zambrano, Sammy Sosa
2003: Kerry Wood, Mark Prior
"It's awesome," Sale told reporters after Sunday's announcement. "It's something I've honestly thought about for a long time since I was a kid, playing baseball, being a fan of baseball. I was kind of speechless. They told me. It was just crazy."
A 23-year-old left-hander, the rail-thin Sale (9-2) boasts the best ERA in the AL at 2.27 and has the second best WHIP at 0.97 in his first year as an MLB starter.
Two Cubs players made the NL team, with a second starting nod for the second consecutive year for shortstop Starlin Castro and a first-time selection for 29-year-old Bryan LaHair at first base, even though LaHair has been playing in the Cubs outfield for two weeks.
Konerko will be making his sixth all-star appearance and was tied for first in the AL in hitting with the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout at .336 entering Sunday's games. He has 14 homers and 40 RBIs.
After struggling at the plate last year, Adam Dunn has responded with 24 home runs, third in the AL this season. However, Dunn is leading the league in strikeouts (125) and is hitting .213. This will be Dunn's second all-star appearance.
"I have a couple good guys who have been there and can show me the ropes a little bit," Sale said. "It's been an incredible ride. I wish I could sit here and tell you I did this all by myself, but I've had two catchers behind the plate, the defense is behind me, (and the offense) scoring runs when I'm out there. Without those guys I wouldn't be sitting here right now."
The starters were selected by fan vote and players and managers selected the reserves.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was not named to the starting roster despite leading all catchers with 45 RBI. The Sox veteran also has 14 home runs, the same at Konerko, and had a slugging percentage of .517 entering Sunday.
The White Sox all-star totals could jump from three to four, however, as pitcher Jake Peavy is still in the running for the final spot on the roster. Beginning today, fans can vote for the 34th man on each squad and Peavy (6-5) is among the five nominees in the AL. Peavy (6-5) is fifth in the league with a 2.92 ERA and fourth in WHIP at 0.99.
The 2012 MLB All-Star Game is scheduled for July 10 in Kansas City.