Atlanta Braves outfielders Justin and B.J. Upton first bonded with model Kate Upton -- no relation -- during a September Sports Illustrated photo shoot at Citi Field, so it wasn't too surprising when the latter tweeted her support for Justin, a finalist in the MLB All-Star Game fan ballot.
"#VoteJUp" spread in part thanks to her 1.46 million followers. The slogan even found its way on to a T-shirt, which hung in multiple lockers in the Braves' clubhouse.
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But it wasn't enough, as Justin found out when he returned to Citi Field for Thursday night's game against the Mets. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won the final vote for the National League and White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was announced as the American League pick.
"Just the support of these fans, it's been surreal the last few days," said Justin, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Braves. "You play the game every day to win, and to be recognized for going out and trying to help your team, it's pretty cool."
Upton said he is more concerned with supporting his team as a whole. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Julio Teheran were named to the NL roster.
B.J. Upton (1-for-4, two strikeouts) added that the Braves are quick to rally around each other. Matching T-shirts for his brother was just one example of the team's camaraderie.
"You're always rooting for your teammates," he said. "We've got a real close-knit team over here."
Justin Upton appears to be rooting for a non-teammate, too. He said Derek Jeter's name instinctively pops up when he thinks about the Midsummer Classic.
"That's the way it should be," Upton said. "He's made such an impact on the game of baseball and he's a memorable player in baseball history. He's a great player and it's going to be a good event."