CHICAGO - The votes are in, and a select squad of players from the Cubs and White Sox are among the MLB standouts headed to the MLB All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. July 17.
Willson Contreras and Javier Baez made the All-Star roster for the very first time, and are slated to start for the National League.
"[It] took me by surprise," smiled Contreras. "My first reaction was like, 'I have no words to say,' but then I started crying when I went down to the cage because I hoped for. I've been working every single game and I play every single game like it is my last one."
Jon Lester will also make his fifth appearance in the mid-summer classic and his second as a Cub.
"For me personally, kind of more gratifying for Willson," noted Lester. "Our relationship has grown a lot over the last couple years. I know the whole Rossy thing is always in the back of his mind, I'm sure, every time we take the ball. It's nice for him to get rewarded for his hard work and what he's done."
Overall, the Cubs have now had 10 different players make the All-Star team within the last three seasons.
"Really excited. I think everybody plays to be in the All-Star Game," explained Baez. "I know we have a lot of fans and they dedicate a lot of time to us and what we do outside the field. I feel blessed to be in this spot."
Lester said he also hoped they could get Albert Almora, Jr. on the team somehow because he, "deserves it."
Jose Abreu is the Sox lone All-Star, but he'll be starting for the American League. He's the first South Sider to be voted in since Frank Thomas in 1996. It's Abreu's second appearance after racking up 12 homers, 27 doubles and 50 RBI.