With the Royals still all over the place in the American League All-Star Game ballot, the debate on ASG fan voting is beginning to reach a level that causes a small trickle of blood to escape your right ear (even with a National League ballot that's starting to look quite legitimate). I tend to believe fans have earned this right to do whatever they want with their vote -- they do pay for everything, after all -- but I'm less interested in that debate today. I want to know what the vote tallies tell us about baseball.

And for that, let's look to the past. Each All-Star final tally is a snapshot of the game at that particular moment in history, a glimpse at who was popular, what we valued, where the game stood, what was bringing people to the ballpark and keeping them there. Who are the unlikeliest All-Star starters of the past decade? How did voting evolve over time? Did Kosuke Fukudome once start an ASG? Yes, he did!

Thus, I thought I'd take a glimpse at the fan-voted tallies for the past 10 years, the lineups the fans provided, and sift through what we can learn. Remember, not everyone on this list necessarily played in the game: these are simply the names the fans voted in.

2004

AL

C Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit
1B Jason Giambi, N.Y. Yankees
2B Alfonso Soriano, Texas
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim
OF Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

NL

C Mike Piazza, N.Y. Mets
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2B Jeff Kent, Houston
SS Edgar Renteria, St. Louis
3B Scott Rolen, St. Louis
OF Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati
OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco
OF Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs

Ah, the last vestiges of the Home Run Era. This was the year the Cardinals won 105 games, which would explain those three starters. It's also worth noting that the season known as the Year of the Red Sox only had two Boston ASG selections (Ramirez and Curt Schilling).

2005

AL

C Jason Varitek, Boston
1B Mark Teixeira, N.Y. Yankees
2B Brian Roberts, Baltimore
SS Miguel Tejada, Baltimore
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim
OF Johnny Damon, Boston
DH David Ortiz, Boston

NL

C Mike Piazza, N.Y. Mets
1B Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs
2B Jeff Kent, Los Angeles
SS David Eckstein, St. Louis
3B Scott Rolen, St. Louis
OF Jim Edmonds, St. Louis
OF Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia
OF Carlos Beltran, NY Mets

There was a time in human history when fans voted A-Rod into an All-Star Game and not Jeter. Also, at one point, Lee was seen as a more viable All-Star starter than Pujols. The Cubs' first baseman was actually off to a terrific start that year and was beginning to challenge Pujols for supremacy at the position in the NL, though he couldn't quite keep up the pace. Meanwhile, the thrill of the Red Sox's World Series was still so much at the forefront of everyone's minds that Doug Mientkiewicz (who caught the final out of the '04 Fall Classic) was third in the NL first-base voting as a Met, ahead of Todd Helton, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado and Jeff Bagwell.

2006

AL

C Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit
1B David Ortiz, Boston
2B Mark Loretta, Boston
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

NL

C Paul Lo Duca, N.Y. Mets
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Jose Reyes, N.Y. Mets
3B David Wright, N.Y. Mets
OF Jason Bay, Pittsburgh
OF Carlos Beltran, N.Y. Mets
OF Alfonso Soriano, Washington

Ah, that brief window when it looked like the Mets were going to dominate the NL East for years to come. Also, don't scoff at that Loretta pick: He'd been excellent for a few years by 2006 -- this was his first year in Boston -- and had hit .335 to make an ASG for San Diego two years earlier. Finally, Mets fans won't believe me on this, but there really was a time when it was perfectly legitimate for Bay to be voted onto an All-Star team.

2007

AL

C Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit
1B David Ortiz, Boston
2B Placido Polanco, Detroit
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim
OF Magglio Ordonez, Detroit
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

NL

C Russell Martin, Los Angeles
1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Jose Reyes, N.Y. Mets
3B David Wright, N.Y. Mets
OF Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati
OF Carlos Beltran, N.Y. Mets
OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco

Perhaps annoyance over their awkward gallop to the 2006 World Series title caused the Cardinals to be shut out for the first time in a few years. Meanwhile, the only two players to have made every roster at this point in our 10-year review: Guerrero and A-Rod.

2008

AL

C Joe Mauer, Minnesota
1B Kevin Youkilis, Boston
2B Dustin Pedroia, Boston
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas
OF Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle
DH David Ortiz, Boston

NL

C Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs
1B Lance Berkman, Houston
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida
3B Chipper Jones, Atlanta
OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
OF Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs
OF Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs

Your leading vote-getter, for the second consecutive season, was Rodriguez. See? You used to all love him. This squad was a also huge bolster for Fukudome's Hall of Fame case.

2009

AL

C Joe Mauer, Minnesota
1B Mark Teixeira, N.Y. Yankees
2B Dustin Pedroia, Boston
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
OF Jason Bay, Boston
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

NL

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida
3B David Wright, N.Y. Mets
OF Carlos Beltran, N.Y. Mets
OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
OF Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia

This was the first year Molina broke through in the fan voting, mostly because the game was held in St. Louis; he would later lead all of baseball in ASG votes. Bay was voted into the All-Star Game on two different teams. Also: Ichiro is eternal.

2010

AL

C Joe Mauer, Minnesota
1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota
2B Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
OF Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas
OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle
DH Vladimir Guerrero, Texas

NL

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida
3B David Wright, N.Y. Mets
OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
OF Andre Ethier, Los Angeles
OF Jason Heyward, Atlanta

At the time, it must have seemed like Heyward was going to be voted into All-Star Games every year for the next 20 years. This was his rookie year, and it's the only All-Star roster he's appeared on; he didn't play in the 2010 Midsummer Classic due to a thumb injury. Another observation: Doing this list is a grand reminder of just how popular Guerrero really was.

2011

AL

C Alex Avila, Detroit
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
2B Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
OF Jose Bautista, Toronto
OF Curtis Granderson, N.Y. Yankees
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas
DH David Ortiz, Boston

NL

C Brian McCann, Atlanta
1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee
2B Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee
SS Jose Reyes, N.Y. Mets
3B Placido Polanco, Philadelphia
OF Lance Berkman, St. Louis
OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles

As someone with a close personal connection to Polanco, can I say how delighted I am that he was voted in as an All-Star starter twice? By the way, Bautista set an all-time ASG vote total record this season.

2012

AL

C Mike Napoli, Texas
1B Prince Fielder, Detroit
2B Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees
SS Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees
3B Adrian Beltre, Texas
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas
OF Curtis Granderson, N.Y. Yankees
OF Jose Bautista, Toronto
DH David Ortiz, Boston

NL

C Buster Posey, San Francisco
1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati
2B Dan Uggla, Atlanta
SS Rafael Furcal, St. Louis
3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco
OF Melky Cabrera, San Francisco
OF Carlos Beltran, St. Louis
OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles

Cabrera was actually second-leading vote-getter in the NL this year, which is kind of amazing. Also: Uggla!

2013

AL

C Joe Mauer, Minnesota
1B Chris Davis, Baltimore
2B Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees
SS J.J. Hardy, Baltimore
3B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
OF Adam Jones, Baltimore
OF Mike Trout, Anaheim
OF Jose Bautista, Toronto
DH David Ortiz, Boston

NL

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis
1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati
2B Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
3B David Wright, N.Y. Mets
OF Carlos Beltran, St. Louis
OF Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
OF Bryce Harper, Washington

Trout and Harper made their first appearances. Phillips, suffice it to say, probably made his last.

2014

AL

C Matt Wieters, Baltimore
1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
2B Robinson Cano, Seattle
SS Derek Jeter, NY Yankees
3B Josh Donaldson, Oakland
OF Jose Bautista, Toronto
OF Mike Trout, Anaheim
OF Adam Jones, Baltimore
DH Nelson Cruz, Baltimore

NL

C Yadier Molina, St. Louis
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
3B Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee
OF Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
OF Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee
OF Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles

How was this McCutchen's first ASG start? And is it just me, or did the fans do a terrific job last year, particularly in the AL?

The biggest takeaway: I've gone through every starting ASG roster over the past 11 years … and didn't come across a single Kansas City Royal. Maybe it's not ballot stuffing. Maybe it's just a lot of pent-up anticipation. Maybe they were just saving it all up for this year.

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Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com, follow me @williamfleitch or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.