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Renteria gives Cards three of a kind07/04/2004 7:00 PM ET
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- The infield for the National League All-Stars will be almost All-Cards.
Edgar Renteria held off Houston's Adam Everett in the final days of All-Star balloting to earn the starting spot at shortstop for the NL for the second straight year. That gives St. Louis three of the four infield starters for the Midsummer Classic, set for Houston's Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, July 13.
Joining Renteria will be first baseman Albert Pujols and third baseman Scott Rolen, both of whom were starters last year as well -- though Pujols made the team as an outfielder. Rolen was the leading vote-getter in the National League with 3,187,710, marking the second straight year that a Cardinal has earned that designation. Last year it was Pujols, who made a huge late push and was also the leading online vote-getter.
It's the fifth time in franchise history that a St. Louis player has garnered the most votes of any NL player. Mark McGwire was tops in 1998, and Ozzie Smith was No. 1 in 1987 and '88. Rolen is the first third baseman in history to lead NL balloting.
"I'm glad I'm not an outfielder," he quipped, referring to the NL's superstar trio of starters Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. "I think that had a lot to do with it."
Pujols (2,649,013 votes) will be appearing in his third All-Star Game, but last season marked his first start. Rolen will be making his third appearance, and his third consecutive start.