A quick glance Monday at Billy Butler, and his Opie Taylor smile, should convince anyone that he is absolutely the right choice if the Royals could have only one player in the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's just a priceless feeling," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. I'm just soaking it all in. The city has always been great to me and my family. The fans have been amazing. And who better to share it with?"

Who indeed?

Butler is a homegrown Royal, a first-round pick in 2004 who reached the big leagues in 2007. He is well-acquainted with the rot that comes from relentless losing and yet has always played well enough to be seen as part of a hopeful future.

He can hit, certainly, but it's more than that.