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D-backs’ Goldschmidt honored, but has bigger goals than All-Star selection

His teammates have dubbed him, “America’s first baseman.”

His peers just dubbed him an All-Star.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was one of two Diamondbacks players to be named to the 2013 National League All-Star team, joining pitcher Patrick Corbin. The two will head to New York and the 84th Midsummer Classic Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York.

“It’s a cool honor but it’s nothing I was ever, ‘Hey, I’ve got to do this to try to make an All-Star game or anything like that.’ It happened. It’s a good honor,” Goldschmidt said Saturday. “I’ll enjoy the experience and then, when it’s over, go back to playing like I have been, or try to.”

He leads the league in RBI with 74, the third-most by a D-backs player prior to the All-Star break, is fourth in home runs with 21, one more than he had all of last season when he set a career-high, while also hitting over .300.

Goldschmidt, like Corbin, made the team as a result of the player ballot, receiving 161 more votes (508) than Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (347), who was selected a starter by the fans.

“You know he’s one of the best National League hitters,” Ian Kennedy said. “I’ve noticed that he’s getting pitched like that. He’s starting to get the respect that he should.”

Goldschmidt, who said he would consider participating in the Home Run Derby if asked, took the selection — his first in three seasons, in stride.

“It means I’ve had a good first half,” he said matter-of-factly.

Not one to talk about himself, the 25-year-old is quick to point out, “I enjoy playing baseball whatever level” with the purpose always the same: team over individual.

“It’s good, but we’re trying to, as a team, make the playoffs,” Goldschmidt said. “We got to do that in 2011 when I was here. That was a lot more fun. Obviously, that’s our goal this year. It’s a team sport. It’ll be a fun couple of days, 48 hours, whatever it’s going to be and then move on, get back to our goal, try to give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.”

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