BALTIMORE, JULY 8 -- In a summer when the news has been mostly bad, the Baltimore Orioles heard some of the good today when they learned that shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and catcher Terry Kennedy were voted American League starters for next week's 58th All-Star Game in Oakland.
Ripken's appearance will be his fifth, and with his fourth consecutive start, ties Brooks Robinson, his boyhood idol, for most career all-star starts by an Oriole.
Kennedy, playing his first American League season, will be making his fourth appearance and his second start. His other one was in 1985 as a replacement for injured Gary Carter.
Kennedy and Ripken were named starters on a team that will be dominated by New York Yankees as Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph and Rickey Henderson were voted to starting spots.
"I don't know if it'll be different this year, but in previous years it has always seemed like I was the new kid on the block," Ripken said. "It's always an honor. The game itself seems a little like make-believe. It's so different than any other part of the year. The great players are all assembled. It's hard to come up with words to describe it."
Kennedy said he, too, considered it an honor, adding, "I feel sort of like a kid in a candy shop. I'm around people who are my idols, and it's a great feeling. It's a pleasure. It's nice to be voted onto it. Some guys say they want the rest. I want it, too, but I've got Monday and Wednesday off, and how many days a week do you get two days off?"
Ripken had been the American League's top vote-getter for two straight seasons, but finished behind Boston's Wade Boggs this year. The overall leader was St. Louis shortstop Ozzie Smith, who was named on 2,254,409 ballots.
Boggs, leading the American League with a .382 batting average, beat out Kansas City's George Brett, who had won the starting job for 11 straight years. Boggs won easily, 1,529,819 votes to Brett's 699,970.
In the National League, the defending champion New York Mets will be represented among the starters by Carter and outfielder Darryl Strawberry. The Cardinals, with a big lead in the NL East, also have two starters -- Smith and first baseman Jack Clark.
The starting pitchers will be selected by the managers and league officials later this week.
Oakland rookie Mark McGwire, who leads the AL with 31 home runs, topped all write-in candidates with 95,498. Montreal outfielder Tim Raines led the NL with 86,571 write-in votes. Raines started the season as a free agent and re-signed with Montreal on May 1.
A total of 5,572,493 votes were cast this year, which exceeded last year's total of 5,414,304 by more than 158,000 and was the highest total since 1984.