The last time baseballs All-Star Game was played in Kansas City back in 1973, the honor roll included nearly two dozen future Hall of Fame players, managers and umpires.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Only history will tell whether the 2012 event, which will be played July 10 at Kauffman Stadium, brings as much star power to town and it could be an exceptionally long wait.
Among the 67 players chosen including Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who was selected but is on the disabled list and already has been replaced 23 players will make their All-Star debuts in Kansas City.
Collectively, 46 of the 67 players chosen are under age 30, with the possibility that Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, 19, could be voted in as the youngest player in All-Star Game history later this week.
A few of the All-Stars seem certain to be enshrined one day in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee, was selected to his 13th All-Star Game. But the exclusion of 14-time All-Star and Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez illustrates the changing of the guard.
Injured pitchers Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay, who have 20 combined All-Star Game appearances, also wont be coming to Kansas City. Neither will Mariners right fielder and 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki or Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, a nine-time NL All-Star in 11 seasons with the Cardinals.
So unlike 1973, when Willie Mays played his 24th and final All-Star Game alongside Hank Aaron, and arguably the greatest catcher of all-time, Johnny Bench, clubbed a mammoth home run, youth will be served this time around.
Fans in Kansas City will be treated to All-Star debuts for emerging stars such as Angels outfielder Mike Trout, whose late-April call-up sparked his team from early-season doldrums to nine games above .500, and Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg.
Several other franchise cornerstones who recently signed long-term deals, players such as Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and Adam Jones of the Orioles, are back in the All-Star Game for a second time.
The National League roster is populated with tremendous young arms in addition to Strasburg, including Matt Cain, who tossed a perfect game this season and has surpassed Tim Lincecum as the Giants ace.
The group also includes Strasburgs teammate, Gio Gonzalez, as well as Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, former Diamondbacks first-round pick Wade Miley and surprising Cardinals ace Lance Lynn.
Cincinnatis flame-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman also made the All-Star cut, but Reds fans thought NL manager Tony LaRussa, who retired after leading the rival Cardinals to the World Series title last season, snubbed starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (9-4, 2.26 ERA).
Cueto, who is scheduled to pitch next Sunday and wouldnt be able to throw in the All-Star Game anyway, stands out among those enjoying terrific seasons who didnt make the All-Star cut.
The first-place Reds also were unhappy that second baseman Brandon Phillips,, who was at the center of a 2010 brawl with La Russas Cardinals along with Cueto, didnt get picked.
Former Royal Zack Greinke (9-2, 2.82 ERA), who had a verbal sparring match with LaRussa last season after saying Chris Carpenter had a phony attitude, was another apparent snub.
Pittsburghs James McDonald (7-3, 2.44 ERA) and former Mets All-Star Johan Santana (6-4, 2.76 ERA), who tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history earlier in the season, had strong cases as well.
Perhaps no player has a stronger case for a snub than Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill, who was the odd man out when fans voted in Dan Uggla of the Braves at second base and the players voted in José Altuve of the Astros.
Center fielder Josh Hamilton who received a record 11.1 million votes, shattering Jose Bautistas record from last year of 7,454,753 leads a contingent of seven Rangers, including three players who were selected by AL All-Star and Rangers manager Ron Washington.