NEW YORK — Toronto’s Josh Donaldson isn’t about individual accolades, even if it includes being the leading vote getter for the upcoming all-star game.
Donaldson has moved into top spot in fan voting for the upcoming event, overtaking Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas as the American League’s starting third baseman in the process.
The league announced its updated results on Monday with Donaldson leading all players with 11,738,206 votes, over 1.4 million more than Moustaskas.
“I don’t play for all-star games, I don’t play for a lot of individual attention,” Donaldson said prior to Monday’s game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. “I play to compete, help my team win games. If you’re successful with that, at the end of the day you get recognition.”
The 29-year-old Donaldson currently ranks first in American League third baseman in RBI’s (48) and slugging percentage (.525), is second in on-base percentage (.879) and is third in hits with 84. His 18 home runs are good for sixth among all AL players.
The Pensacola, Fla., native has been getting it done in the field as well, making a highlight-reel diving catch into the stands last week against the Tampa Bay Rays to keep Marco Estrada’s perfect game bid intact.
If Donaldson, who was acquired in the off-season from the Oakland Athletics in a deal for Canadian Brett Lawrie, was to hold onto top spot, it would mark the second season in a row that he would represent the AL as the starting third baseman at the all-star game.
Donaldson made his first all-star game appearance last season. Playing alongside Yankees great Derek Jeter, who was making his final appearance at short stop, made it a special experience.
“It was really neat last year,” said Donaldson. “For it to be Derek Jeter’s last all-star game, to be on the left side of him. … it’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
Donaldson has had some help recently in increasing his votes through social media.
Hockey commentator Don Cherry has been vocal in making sure fans get Donaldson in as a starter while Toronto actor Stephen Amell released a video campaigning for more votes as well.
Donaldson met the star of the television show Arrow for the first time Sunday and they took part in some batting practice together.
“He was awesome,” said Donaldson. “Never in the world would I have asked him to do what he’s done.”
Voting in starters for the all-star game ends Thursday at 11:59 Eastern. The starters will be announced Sunday, with the pitchers, reserves and candidates for the final spot to be presented Monday.
The game is July 14 in Cincinnati.
Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press