In franchise first, three Rox in NL starting lineup
Gonzalez will bat third Tuesday night, with Tulowitzki, Cuddyer in bottom third
NEW YORK -- The Rockies will have three members of their organization prominently displayed in the starting lineup for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game, the first time that has happened in franchise history.
NL manager Bruce Bochy locked in his decision to bat left fielder Carlos Gonzalez fifth in the Senior Circuit's order, slotting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki seventh and designated hitter Michael Cuddyer eighth for the Midsummer Classic at Citi Field.
"It's priceless. It's unbelievable," Gonzalez said. "We're going to enjoy this experience. It's the first time the Rockies had three players [in the lineup]. I'm really blessed and happy to be part of this."
Tulowitzki and Gonzalez were the first Rockies elected by fans since first baseman Todd Helton made the last of his three consecutive fan-voted starts in 2003. Cuddyer was selected via the player ballot.
"That's pretty cool," Tulowitzki said. "I saw that Cuddy was hitting behind me, and to have CarGo in the starting lineup with myself, I think that speaks a lot about our organization and what we've done lately. We have some guys putting together good years. I'm definitely excited."
For Colorado fans, the show begins a day early as Cuddyer prepares to take part in the Chevrolet Home Run Derby on Monday evening. Tulowitzki said that Cuddyer seemed a bit rattled about the challenge while riding the players' bus from Manhattan into Queens on Monday.
"I'm excited to watch Cuddy," Tulowitzki said. "I know he's a little nervous, so I'm going to try to calm his nerves a little bit. He's good, man. I like his chances. In BP, he can hit with some of the bigger guys."
Cuddyer was tabbed by NL Home Run Derby captain David Wright for the squad, and there is personal history there. Cuddyer and Wright know each other well from their time together attending rival high schools in Virginia.
In 2007, Cuddyer bested Wright and several other notable big leaguers in the finals of a charity home-run hitting contest to benefit the newly-opened Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, Va.
"Maybe that's what got into David's head. Maybe he remembered that day," joked Cuddyer, who also defeated B.J. and Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds and Ryan Zimmerman in that 2007 event.
"The approach hopefully is to hit as many home runs as I can. I'm excited," Cuddyer said. "I'm extremely grateful to David for picking me. We're going to go out and have fun with it, first and foremost."
Gonzalez competed in last year's Home Run Derby in Kansas City, but he was unable to participate this year because of a sprained middle finger on his right hand, opening a slot for the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez.
"I really wish I was out there," Gonzalez said. "My finger is not feeling 100 percent. I have my good days and bad days. I was a little sad that I wasn't able to hit in the Derby, but I'm glad I did it last year. I hope it won't be my last time."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
The Rockies have only had as many as two players on the field at the Midsummer Classic once in their history, in 2001 in Seattle, when Helton was selected by the fans and outfielder Larry Walker was appointed by manager Bobby Valentine as the DH.
It's the third All-Star trip in four years for Tulowitzki, who was chosen to the team by players in 2010 but did not play because of an injury. Tulowitzki said that these experiences at the All-Star Game can be valuable.
"You always want to talk to the best players in the game," Tulowitzki said. "At the All-Star Game, you get a chance to do that. We ask each other questions and we're always trying to get better. It's an experience that you always look forward to."
This marks the second trip in the last two years for Gonzalez, who thanked voters again on Monday and is proud that fans from all over the globe have recognized his efforts on the field.
"We received a lot of messages from the fans. At the end of the day, it's all about them," Gonzalez said. "If the fans vote for us, they took their time to sit in a chair to vote for every single player. We all feel really thankful for that and proud to be here."
Cuddyer, who had the Majors' longest hitting streak of the year at 27 games, represented the Twins for the American League in the 2011 All-Star contest and said that nights like these are the stuff of boyhood dreams.
"It means everything," Cuddyer said. "As a kid, aside from winning the World Series, this is why you play. Playing in the driveway, the garage, doing dry swings -- you always envision yourself doing it in the All-Star Game or the World Series.
"This is one of the steps. Hopefully at the end of the season, I can experience the other one."