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Derek Jeter to start ninth All-Star Game

Derek Jeter smiles on the field during the

Derek Jeter smiles on the field during the first inning of the Yankees' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on April 7, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

MINNEAPOLIS - Derek Jeter's numbers don't match up with most other All-Stars. Not this year's statistics, at any rate.

But his career numbers speak for themselves, and fans decided there's no one they'd rather see start at shortstop for the American League All-Star team than the retiring Jeter, who was voted into the starting lineup for the ninth time in a landslide.

The All-Star Game is July 15 at Target Field, where the Yankees won three of four against the Twins over the weekend.

"I'm happy I get the opportunity to come back here," Jeter said Sunday. "It's special for me. It's the last one for me, so I'm glad I have an opportunity to go."

Jeter will be joined by teammates Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances, rookies who have shined and helped keep the Yankees relevant in the AL East and wild-card races.

"I'm extremely happy for Tanaka and Dellin, too," Jeter said. "Those guys deserve it as much as anyone."

Tanaka and Betances are the first rookie pitchers to earn All-Star bids for the Yankees since Spec Shea in 1947.

"I was at a loss for words," Betances said of his postgame conversation when Joe Girardi told him of his selection. "I'm truly blessed and honored to participate in this event and I'm so excited."

Betances has a 1.61 ERA in 37 games. He has struck out 78 and walked 16 in 501/3 innings.

Tanaka is firmly in the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young discussions, going 12-3 with a 2.27 ERA. He has struck out 130 and walked 18 in a team-high 1222/3 innings.

Tanaka is slated to pitch the Sunday before the All-Star Game but said he "definitely" plans on being in Minneapolis to soak in the atmosphere, hang out with some of the best pitchers in the sport and perhaps "pick their brains a little bit."

Tanaka and Betances were chosen on the player ballot, an added tribute. "Getting votes from the guys that you're actually facing, that's probably one of the best compliments that I can get," Tanaka said through his translator.

Said Betances: "For the players to vote for me, I'm truly humbled. It's a crazy feeling for me right now. I'm enjoying each and every day here and I'm blessed to be a Yankee."

Jeter got 3,928,422 votes, besting Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox (2,841,402 votes), who was an at-large selection.

After going 3-for-4 Sunday, Jeter is hitting .273 with a .323 on-base percentage. He said this All-Star appearance doesn't necessarily feel better because it's his final season but that it feels good after injuries limited him to 17 games in 2013.

"After last year, just playing means a little bit more," he said. "[It's] never a situation where I expect to go to the All-Star Game. I've never taken it for granted at all in my career.''

Betances said he can't believe his good fortune. "In his last year, being in the All-Star Game with [Jeter], what could be better?" he said with a smile. "I'm loving this moment."

New York Sports