Philadelphia – It wasn’t exactly the direct route, but Braves center fielder Michael Bourn was finally named to the National League All-Star team on Saturday as a replacement for injured Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, who will sit out the game to rest a sore oblique muscle.
Bourn has been through the wringer this week, first going through the disappointment of not making the original roster, of having to go against teammate Chipper Jones in the “Final Vote” before Jones, the sentimental favorite, was named to the team as a replacement for the injured Matt Kemp.
Then Bourn spent two days garnering strong support online only to finish second to Cardinals third baseman David Freese in the Final Vote on Thursday afternoon.
Then came word on Saturday that Desmond was going to miss the game and Bourn was in after all. He’ll join Jones, Dan Uggla, Craig Kimbrel, and assistant trainer Jim Lovell as the Braves’ contingent to Kansas City.
“God works in mysterious ways, I mean that,” Bourn said shortly before taking the field for batting practice. “You take it how it comes. You always want to be elected the first time, but it didn’t happen that way. You’ve got to stay positive with everything.”
Bourn will be making his second All-Star appearance. He went to the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim as a Houston Astro. He lockered next to future Braves teammate Brian McCann that day, when McCann won the MVP award of the game. Bourn struck out against Jose Valverde in his only at-bat, which he described as a whirlwind, three-pitch at-bat.
“It’s an honor to be named with the players we have, with the caliber of people that will be there,” said Bourn, who plans to take his 2-year-old son Bryson to Kansas City. “I remember when I first got there the first time I was more in shock. I was walking around with these type of players, seeing what they’re doing. They’re coming up introducing themselves to me. I didn’t even know they knew who I was.”
It’s a little different this time around for the leadoff hitter and center fielder Jones calls the Braves most valuable player the first half of the season. Bourn was hitting .305 entering Saturday night with 17 doubles, six triples, a career-high seven home runs, 32 RBIs, 58 runs scored and 23 stolen bases.