- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale will not start the All-Star game on Tuesday night -- Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander was tabbed as the starter on Monday -- but that won't diminish the excitement for Sale as a 23-year-old first-time All-Star.
"It will be fun, but I really tried to put it out of my mind until now," Sale said. "I got all my work in last week and tried to just be a good teammate. That way I could avoid being too excited and getting too far ahead of myself."
Sale has been getting advice from all of his teammates about handling the game for the first time and all the responsibilities that come with his new status.
"I am going to try and take it all in and enjoy it, because in this game there are no promises that I will go to another one," Sale said. "Matt (Thornton ) told me to meet everyone, shake everyone's hand and let it soak in.
"It would be nice to have multiple ones, but we have no way of knowing that, so I will act like this is the last one I will ever be at because it pretty well could be."
Sale has his wife, son, parents and in-laws on the ticket list along with his college coaches and agents.
"This is awesome considering what was going on with my status 10 weeks ago (he had elbow tenderness and was going to be made the closer) and now to be able to share this with the most important people in my life is fantastic," he said. "Taking my son down on the field and snapping a zillion pictures of him will be the highlight of Day 1."
The reality of playing with stars like Derek Jeter will be an adjustment when the game begins.
"I remember in sixth and seventh grade playing All Star video game with the Yankees and Jeter the primary player, so it will definitely be weird and at a point I will feel out of place there for sure," Sale said. "I will do the same thing I did when I got to the White Sox last season: eyes open, ears open mouth shut.'"
"You look at (Jeter's) career and see what he has done and is still doing at age 38, he is still the first name in baseball. You never hear anything negative about him on or off the field."
The two days in Kansas City will be one more step for Sale as he continues to build his professional career at a high level.
"I am in the learning process every day, so this game will help me with that mindset," he said. "I am still learning about the game , these players, and heck at 23 I am still learning about myself."