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07/02/06 8:19 PM ET

Tribe's Sizemore an All-Star reserve

Consistent leadoff presence picked by Chicago's Guillen

CINCINNATI -- What with the female fan club created in his honor and the "Mrs. Sizemore" shirts that bear his name, there's little denying that Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore is a star.

But now, for the first time in his career, Sizemore is an All-Star.

Sizemore was picked to represent the American League as a reserve outfielder in the 77th annual All-Star Game, which will be held at 8 p.m. ET July 11 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.

Of course, you wouldn't know it to talk to Sizemore. The abnormally soft-spoken center fielder didn't have much to say about his selection.

"It's a great honor," he said. "I didn't expect it."

While Sizemore was surprised, the fact that it was White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen who named him to the squad isn't exactly a shock. Guillen, after all, is the one who dubbed Sizemore the "best all-around player in the AL Central" last fall.

Sizemore's own manager, Eric Wedge, had similarly good things to say about the 23-year-old.

"He's such a consistent player on both [offense and defense]," Wedge said. "He's arguably one of the best leadoff hitters in the game right now. Everything has happened for him in a hurry."

Indeed, it has. This All-Star appearance comes in the midst of Sizemore's second full season in the big leagues.

A bundle of energy and hustle, Sizemore hit .289 with 22 homers, 22 stolen bases and 81 RBIs last year. He became only the second player in Indians history to record 20 doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a single season, Robbie Alomar being the first.

This year, he's built on those numbers, as his power has increased, his awareness on the basepaths has gotten sharper and his bat has been a reliable, consistent source of production from the leadoff spot.

The Tribe signed Sizemore to a historic six-year contract at the end of Spring Training. The commitment was the longest ever given to a player with only one full year of service time under his belt.

While fat contracts might make some players complacent, Sizemore has continued to play with the boundless energy of a rookie callup trying to make a good impression on the higher-ups. His diving catches in the outfield and speed on the basepaths have made him one of the Indians' most valuable players.

Speaking of MVP status, it was just three short years ago that Sizemore was named the MVP of the All-Star Futures Game. Now the popular young player will have a chance to shine in the real Midsummer Classic.

Does he feel he has an MVP reputation to live up to? Hardly.

"I'm just going to go and have fun," Sizemore said. "I'm not trying to do anything special."

That includes participating in the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby on ESPN.

"I don't want any part of that," Sizemore said with a smile.

Sizemore's general lack of enthusiasm in discussing his All-Star selection might lead one to believe he wants no part of the game, too. But that's just Sizemore's nature: quiet, reserved and entirely dedicated to his profession.

"I haven't thought about [making the All-Star team] at all," he said. "I'm just trying to focus on the season."

And that undying focus has earned him one of baseball's major rites of passage.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.