All those home runs made Mark McGwire a shoo-in to start in the All-Star game. All Sammy Sosa can hope for, however, is a chance to be a backup.
McGwire, leading the majors with 36 homers, was the top vote-getter in NL results announced Monday. He was the fans' choice to start for the sixth time overall, the first five coming when he played for Oakland."I think it's going to be great," the St. Louis slugger said over 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, has to hope he's picked as a reserve for next Tuesday night's game at Coors Field at Denver.
The Chicago Cubs star, who has hit 32 homers, finished sixth among outfielders and was only 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 Rockies 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 join McGwire in the NL's starting infield.
The AL starters were scheduled to be announced Tuesday. The pitchers and reserves for both leagues will be released Wednesday.
McGwire, expected to highlight the home-run derby a day before the game, received 3,377,145 votes and finished far ahead of runner-up Andres Galarraga (880,142) of Atlanta.
Piazza was second overall in NL voting at 2,731,079. Charles Johnson (811,813), who took Piazza's place behind the plate in Los Angeles, was second.
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 Vin-ny Castilla (1,343,129).
In the outfield, Gywnn (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 making his 11th start in the All-Star game, while it will be the eighth appearance for Bonds and third for Walker.
Biggio (2,298,691) easily 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.