HARPER IS PHILS FIRST ALL-STAR STARTER SINCE UTLEY IN 2014!

By Peter Marx

The Phils Bryce Harper beat the Braves’ William Contreras in a fan vote to be the National League’s starting designated hitter at the All-Star Game on July 19 at Dodger Stadium.

Harper can’t play because of the thumb fracture from June 25 in San Diego, which required surgery on June 29. But fans at least recognized that Harper had numbers worthy of inclusion.

Harper is the first Phillies player to be elected a starter since Chase Utley in 2014.

“It is an incredible honor to be voted in by the fans, especially for my first one as a Phillie,” Harper texted Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

“I’m really upset I won’t be able to wear Phillies pinstripes in L.A. because of what happened, but I look forward to doing it again here soon in the future.

“I love this organization and fan base and wish I could do it for them.”

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