Miami Marlins Catcher J.T. Realmuto Named To All-Star Game
By David Levin
For the first time in his career, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is an All-Star. The 27-year-old is the sole member of the Marlins roster to play in the game on July 17 at National Park in Washington, D.C. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. and shown on FOX.
The news of the Miami Marlins star was made public with the announcement of the All-Star teams for both the American and National League, Realmuto was selected as a reserve player with Wilson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs being named the starter.
It is the first time since 2014 that the starting catcher for the National League is not named Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants.
"“It feels nice to finally break that barrier,” Realmuto said via MLB.com. “It’s definitely been a dream of mine, obviously, my whole life to play in an All-Star Game. It’s something I’m definitely going to cherish and look forward to.”"
Hopefully, this will not be the last time he hears his name called to the Mid-Summer Classic.
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On Sunday, prior to the MLB All-Star Selection Show, Realmuto had five hits in the Marlins 10-2 win over Washington. It is not known if he was notified of his selection prior to the game played in the afternoon.
This season may be the most trying for the Marlins veteran players and fans as changes to the roster and the minor league system have been done with the future in mind. Realmuto voiced his displeasure of the sudden stripping of the franchise but has accepted what ownership and manager Don Mattingly have devised for this organization.
Realmuto, the team’s best and most popular player, started the season on the disabled list. Once he returned to the everyday lineup, he hasn’t taken his foot off the accelerator. Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Realmuto has produced impressive numbers, slashing .317/.368/.551 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs.
"“You could have said J.T. was All-Star-worthy with what he did at the beginning of last season, and for him to earn it this year is a great accomplishment,” Mattingly said. “You have heard me say that he has been one of the best catchers in the game for a while now, and for him to finally be recognized is a testament to the job he has done not just this year, but over his career.”"
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In addition to being the team’s backstop, the veteran has also had a hand in the development of the young arms that have been in and out of the Marlins rotation and bullpen. He has also spent time at first base from time to time, giving Justin Bour a day off.