Injured Marlins star Jazz Chisholm Jr. won't rule out playing in first All-Star Game

Dreaming big started at a young age for Jazz Chisholm Jr.

The charismatic Miami Marlins second baseman used to muse about being an All-Star when he was a child, hitting rocks with sticks behind his home in the Bahamas.

“I feel like I was dreaming about being an All-Star since I was like 4 or 5-years-old,” Chisholm said. “When I was like, behind my house, throwing up rocks and like hitting them with a flat stick. Saying, I was hitting home runs in certain counts.

Like, 3-2, bottom of the ninth in the All-Star Game, and hitting a walk-off homer.”

Chisholm’s boyhood dream is now a reality.

The 24-year-old has been voted by the fans to be the National League’s starting second baseman in the All-Star Game.

The Marlins will be well represented as right-hander Sandy Alcantara has also been selected for the Midsummer Classic, set for July 19 at Dodger Stadium.

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Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. is out stealing second during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. is out stealing second during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Alcantara is having a Cy Young Award-worthy season with his 9-3 record and 1.73 ERA. The 26-year-old paces the Major Leagues with 130 1/3 innings and two complete games.

This is the second time Alcantara has been selected, and he’s making a strong case to be the National League starting pitcher.

“Second All-Star Game,” Alcantara told reporters in New York after his start on Sunday against the Mets. “I feel so happy because they know the job I have been doing. I think I deserve it. I have to go there, have fun and enjoy the game.”

Chisholm, the first player from the Bahamas ever selected by fans to start the All-Star Game, is all about fun.

The left-handed hitting infielder constantly displays his personality. Whether it’s his blue hair, his flashy jewelry, and sporty sunglasses, Jazz is comfortable being Jazz.

“I’m just excited because I know how hard I’ve worked to get to where I’m at right now,” Chisholm said. “The road was kind of long, but I’m here now. It’s just exciting to make history and be a part of it.”

There’s no questioning Chisholm’s skillset. He’s the Marlins’ most dynamic player, able to alter a game with his speed, power and defense.

He’s batting .254 with 14 home runs, 45 RBIS, 12 stolen bases and a better than league-average OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .860.

But Chisholm hasn’t played since June 28. He’s been on the injured list since June 29 with a right lower-back strain. Chisholm has been rehabbing his back at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, and he’s hopeful of returning to the field this week.

He’s also not ruling out playing in the All-Star Game.

Miami Marlins' Miguel Rojas (11) and Bryan De La Cruz (14) congratulate Jazz Chisholm Jr. after Chisholm hit a grand slam in the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Miami Marlins' Miguel Rojas (11) and Bryan De La Cruz (14) congratulate Jazz Chisholm Jr. after Chisholm hit a grand slam in the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

“My back right now is feeling alright,” Chisholm said. “I think I might be able to get on the field by [this] week. So, I feel like I should be able to play in the game.”

If we’ve learned anything about Chisholm it’s not to count him out. Entering the season, the Marlins wanted Chisholm to prove himself, so they had him hitting ninth for the few weeks of the season.

That didn’t last long, and batting either first or second, he quickly emerged, statistically, as one of the best players at his position.

“I feel like I can go a lot further than I am now,” he said. “I always say I can be a 40/40 [home run/stolen bases] guy, if I really focus the whole year. No distractions. No anything. Just go out there and play baseball. That was always my goal. So, I’m going to keep that as my goal and my ceiling.”

From a marketing standpoint, Chisholm playing will bring tremendous attention to the Miami Marlins’ organization, as well as his own brand.

Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. watches after hitting an RBI-single to score Erik Gonzalez during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. watches after hitting an RBI-single to score Erik Gonzalez during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Chisholm connects with the fans, and has become one of the most recognizable young faces in the sport. The fans responded so much to him that they voted him into the All-Star Game as a starter.

That’s tough to do in a market that is lukewarm on supporting the Marlins. Marcell Ozuna was the last Marlins’ position player voted by the fans as an All-Star starter.

That came in 2017, the year Giancarlo Stanton was the National League Most Valuable Player. Stanton did start that All-Star Game, which was played in Miami, as the designated hitter. But that was a manager decision.

“My message to the fans is, ‘I love you guys. You guys are always behind me, no matter how down I’m going or how up I am. You guys are always behind me. I love you guys and I thank you guys for all the support you always give me.”

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Marlins: Jazz Chisholm Jr. won't rule out playing in All-Star Game