Once the Braves' Michael Bourn replaced Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond on the National League roster, Harper's chances for making the Midsummer Classic seemed slim. Ultimately, it took the late-breaking news that the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton had a right knee injury that would require surgery to get Harper on the roster.
At 19 years old, Harper is the third-youngest All-Star in history and the youngest position player. Entering Sunday, Harper was hitting .283, with eight homers and 25 RBIs.
"I guess that's pretty cool," Harper said. "It's a pretty cool deal that I'm the youngest guy to be in there. I'm going to take that in also. It only happens once, you're only young once, so you've got to take it in as much as you can."
Much of the discussion on Harper's All-Star candidacy centered on a stated preference by Nationals manager Davey Johnson for the young center fielder to get some rest after playing in 62 games, and Harper agreed time off would be a good thing. But following his addition to the team, neither expressed much concern.
"I told him, 'You can still rest over the break,'" Johnson said. "Just enjoy it, soak it all up. With him, as it is with anybody, it's more of a break from performing and helping your team win ball games. You're not going to have that for four days."
For Harper, any rest the All-Star break might have brought would have been more mental than physical.
"I think going home would've been pretty good for me, a pretty good mental break," Harper said. "But I still get to see my family out there, and that's the biggest thing. I'm still going to go home after the All-Star Game. They're giving me about a day and a half at home, and then I get back on the grind on Friday."
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.