Before the 2012 season it was rare for a Baltimore Oriole to be voted into the MLB All-Star Game via fan voting. In fact before last season, the last time an O’s player was selected by fan ballot was 2005, when two Orioles, Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada, were selected as starters.
That was also the last All-Star Game in which the Orioles had multiple all-stars until last season.
This year’s All-Star Game will be held on July 16 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and as of the latest voting totals from June 15, it looks like there will once again be multiple Orioles on the American League roster.
Four Orioles — first baseman Chris Davis, center fielder Adam Jones, right fielder Nick Markakis and shortstop J.J. Hardy — all lead their respective positions in fan voting.
Not included in that list is the team’s closer Jim Johnson, who currently leads the major leagues in saves with 26. Pitchers are selected by the All-Star Game managers.
One might argue had it not been for Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the Orioles could have five players potentially on the starting roster. 21-year-old Manny Machado is the league leader with 33 doubles. He’s also batting .326, the second highest average for third basemen, trailing Cabrera. In his league-high 229 total chances at third, Machado has five errors for a .978 fielding percentage, fifth best in MLB.
Cabrera last season earned the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski (1967), has a nearly twice as many votes as Machado with 3.2M.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, one of three Oriole all-stars last year, is also in the running to make his third consecutive appearance in the mid-summer classic. Wieters, the AL-leading catcher in RBI (37), trails the Twins’ Joe Mauer by about 500K votes.
Should Wieters earn a spot on the American League roster, he would be the first Oriole to appear in three-straight All-Star Games since Tejada (2004-2006).
The last time the Orioles had five or more players on an All-Star roster was 1972, when six O’s, including three future Hall of Famers made the team (Pat Dobson, Bobby Grich, Dave McNally, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson).
In an effort to increase fan voting for their players, like many teams, the Baltimore Orioles have created a special campaign. The Orioles’ “vote orange” campaign has seemingly taken over the team’s website and social media accounts.
The hashtag #VoteOrange is centered on the official team’s website banner. On Twitter, the Orioles’ avatar has changed to resemble a voting button. Similarly on Facebook, the team’s profile and cover photos all include vote orange related content.
The team has also scheduled four vote orange rallies between June 20 and June 25. A vote orange street team, including the Oriole Bird, will be visiting local bars, taverns and sporting goods stores. Outfielder Nate McLouth will make an appearance on June 25.
Also as incentive the O’s have special vote orange discounts, encouraging fans to vote at least 21 times to receive special discounted ticket prices.
Fan voting for the All-Star Game continues until July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can submit their votes using either the online ballot at MLB.com or by paper ballot at any team’s stadium until June 25.