Toronto Blue Jays' home run kingpin Jose Bautista has been overwhelmingly chosen by fans to start in baseball's mid-summer classic on July 12.
Once the final ballots were tallied, it was clear fans wanted to see the home run leader start in the game as Bautista received 7,454,753 fan votes, shattering the previous all-time record held by Ken Griffey Jr – set in 1994 – by well over a million votes, CBC sports reported.
"People are recognizing that you're doing well and for me it's been in three different territories – the United States and Canada and the Dominican," Bautista told ESPN. "I can't even describe how good that feels."
Bautista is the first Blue Jay to be elected to the all-star game since Carlos Delgado received the honour in 2003, and barring a freak injury, will start in the outfield alongside Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson.
If that wasn't enough, after being snubbed at last year's home run derby, Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz chose the Jays' slugger as one of four players on the American League's home run squad. Ortiz, the squad's captain, also chose Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano of the Yankees, The National Post reported.
Bautista currently leads the majors with 27 home runs, three ahead of the pace he set in 2010.