2023 All-Star Game site a launching pad for Judge

MLB

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Aaron Judge enjoyed one of the best all-around games of his career on Monday evening at T-Mobile Park, belting two homers before robbing the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernández of a long ball with a leaping grab at the right-field wall.

The big ballpark in Seattle has always been one of Judge’s favorite hitting backdrops, a place where he’s hit 10 home runs, including one in 2017 that seemingly broke Statcast and may not have landed yet. It also happens to be the site of the 2023 All-Star Game; here’s a piece of free advice for Judge, last year’s leading vote-getter for the Midsummer Classic: don’t make any vacation plans for July 11.

“It’s a beautiful park,” Judge said this week. “They always have a packed stadium. And you know, [Monday] was loud. It was rowdy from the very first pitch. I just like big games like that.”

Major League Baseball launched the All-Star ballot on Wednesday, opening Phase 1 of this year’s All-Star voting. During Phase 1, fans around the world can choose their starters until noon ET on June 22. You can vote as many as five times per every 24-hour period exclusively at MLB.com, on all 30 MLB club sites and on the MLB app.

The top two vote-getters at each position (and the top six outfielders) in each league will be revealed on MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET on June 22. The leading vote-getter in each league will receive an automatic spot in their team’s starting lineup.

“I think Judge should get it. It’s early, but he deserves it,” manager Aaron Boone said of the reigning American League MVP, who leads the Junior Circuit with 18 homers. “I don’t put limits on what he’s capable of doing. You just try and enjoy and relish that you’re getting to see greatness in the prime of his career, day in and day out. It’s pretty fun to witness.”

Boone delivered heaps of good news to his first-time All-Stars in the cramped visiting quarters of Boston’s Fenway Park last July, speeches that were captured by a hidden camera placed on Boone’s desk. He’s hoping to have similar messages to share this summer.

“We’ll start lobbying as it unfolds, but we’ve got a lot of guys who hopefully will be in that mix,” Boone said.

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