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McGwire Tops NL All-Star Roster


The fans made it seem like only one player is chasing Roger
Maris. Mark McGwire was the top NL vote-getter for the All-Star game, Sammy Sosa didn't even crack the top 10.

McGwire,

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  • leading the majors with 36 homers, was the overwhelming choice to start at first base in results announced Monday.

    The St. Louis slugger started at the spot five times for Oakland. He now switches sides for next Tuesday night's game at Coors Field in Denver.

    "I think it's going to be great," McGwire said during the weekend. "It's been great that I've been able to play in the All-Star game so many years for the American League, and now I get to do it for the National League."

    But Sosa, whose 19 home runs in June set a major-league record for most homers in any month, will have to hope he's picked as an NL reserve. The Chicago Cubs star finished sixth among outfielders, and 12th overall in the fan voting.

    New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, the NL's top vote-getter the past two years while with Los Angeles, earned another starting spot. He was the first Mets player picked to start since Darryl Strawberry in 1989.

    Larry Walker of the host Colorado Rockis will start in the outfield, along with San Diego's Tony Gwynn and San Francisco's Barry Bonds.

    Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones, Atlanta shortstop Walt Weiss and Houston second baseman Craig Biggio make up the NL's starting infield.

    The AL starters will be announced Tuesday. The pitchers and reserves for both leagues will be released Wednesday.

    McGwire, whose power is expected to highlight the home-run derby a day before the game, will make his eighth All-Star appearance. His 3,377,145 votes put him far ahead of runner-up Andres Galarraga (880,142) of Atlanta.

    Piazza was second overall in NL voting at 2,731,079, enough to get him his sixth All-Star appearance. He finished in front of Charles Johnson (811,813), who took Piazza's place behind the plate in Los Angeles.

    In close votes, Weiss earned his first All-Star appearance by edging Cincinnati's Barry Larkin, 1,159,960 to 997,591. Jones (1,574,512) beat out Colorado's Vinny Castilla (1,343,129) to make his second All-Star game.

    In the outfield, Gwynn (2,485,229), Bonds (1,897,156) and Walker (1,744,949) finished ahead of Colorado's Dante Bichette (1,213,700), Houston's Moises Alou (1,205,369) and Sosa (1,112,234).

    Gwynn will be playing in his 13th All-Star game, while it will be the eighth for Bonds and third for Walker.

    Biggio (2,298,691) beat out New York's Carlos Baerga (744,568) for his seventh appearance.

    The best finish for any player from the stripped-down World Series champion Florida Marlins was eighth by shortstop Edgar Renteria. Florida's Jim Leyland will manage the NL team.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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