Posey to start at his fifth All-Star Game

Posey to start at his fifth All-Star Game

PITTSBURGH -- Buster Posey's status has reached the point where it would be a surprise if he didn't make the All-Star team.

That surprise will have to wait. On Sunday, Posey was officially named the starting catcher by winning the Esurance All-Star ballot for the third consecutive year. He will represent the National League on July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Widely considered the face of the Giants, Posey has come to symbolize NL catching excellence -- a mantle he inherited from the Cardinals' Yadier Molina, a seven-time All-Star symbol from 2009-15. This marked Posey's fifth All-Star selection and fourth as the NL starter. He also won the fan vote in '12.

"Anytime you're voted on by the fans, it's a big honor," Posey said. "It would be even more fun if there were a few more guys going from the team."

Posey earned his way onto the All-Star roster by leading the Majors with a .339 batting average, garnished by 10 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Posey, the NL's reigning Gold Glove Award winner at his position, has also built a reputation as an expert at working with pitchers and framing deliveries, catching them in such a way to make them appear to be strikes.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "But it's the intangibles that he has, too, how he handles the staff. He's a thinker, and he has had great game awareness for years on the field. Some of the things that he does doesn't show up on the spreadsheet. That's what makes him special."

Although Posey might seem to have reached the apex of his skill, he also kept his latest achievement in perspective.

Posey garnered 3,368,263 votes, easily outdistancing the Cubs' Willson Contreras (1,511,151), the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (1,313,758), the Dodgers' Yasmani Grandal (1,035,132) and the Nationals' Matt Wieters (804,583).

Posey's five All-Star selections loom large in Giants annals. Since the franchise relocated from New York to San Francisco in 1958, only two other Giants catchers have made multiple All-Star teams: Ed Bailey ('61, '63) and Tom Haller ('66, '67). Moreover, the Giants have had just four other All-Star catchers: Bob Schmidt ('58), Dick Dietz ('70), Bob Brenly ('84) and Benito Santiago (2002).

"I'm 30 now, and it seems like in today's game, 34 or 35 years old is kind of getting toward the end," said Posey, who noted that he will be joined in Miami by his wife, Kristen, his twin children, Lee and Addison, and his parents. "As I get older, hopefully I'll appreciate [All-Star Games] even more."

Bochy added: "He's an impact player as a catcher. This will be another milestone for him. Although it's happened before, to be the starting catcher in the All-Star Game, that's such a great honor. We're lucky to have him."

By "we," Bochy meant the nation's baseball community as well as the Giants and their fans.

"He's such a great ambassador to the game," Bochy said. 'He's so great in the community. You look at the ballplayer, how talented he is, but also the person that he is."

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.