ATLANTA -- So, what do you do to celebrate being named to your first Major League All-Star team after spending nine years in the Minor Leagues? Bryan LaHair took a long bath.
LaHair, who will join Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro on the National League team July 10 in Kansas City, finished second in the player balloting to the Reds' Joey Votto, who was selected in the fan balloting as a starter.
"In Arizona, Willie Bloomquist came up to me and said, 'Hey, I voted for you,'" LaHair said Monday. "He said, 'Just keep swinging, keep hitting.' I have the numbers. I know my RBI totals could be higher. I think I've handled my role pretty well and been a tough out most of the time.
"Just the fact I got the respect like that from the players so soon and they respect my game and how I go about my business, I'm really thankful for that," LaHair said.
He was tied with Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt for third among NL first basemen with 11 home runs behind Adam LaRoche (15) and Votto (14). LaHair, replaced last week at first by top prospect Anthony Rizzo, was batting .287 with 11 doubles and 24 RBIs entering Monday's action.
LaHair, 29, has toiled in the Minor Leagues for nine seasons, making a Major League team's Opening Day roster this year for the first time. Cubs manager Dale Sveum told LaHair and Castro they were going to the All-Star Game during a team meeting Sunday.
"[Sunday] was a really weird feeling," LaHair said. "I went out in the dugout at the start of the game, and the first time the fans got loud, it kind of hit me -- 'I'm in a Major League ballpark right now, and they just told me I'm going to the All-Star Game.' You see Wrigley fans and the crowd and you remind yourself you're in a Major League ballpark again. I was kind of like a little short of breath -- I wasn't sure how to feel or react."
Once the Cubs arrived in Atlanta and he got settled into the hotel, he took a long, warm bath.
"I tried to breathe a little bit and soak it all in and just enjoy it and visualize it," he said.