Make Griffey a Mariners All-Star again
Future Hall of Famer on AL ballot as DH candidate
SEATTLE -- Ken Griffey Jr., a 10-time All-Star with the Mariners in the 1990s, returns to the American League All-Star ballot this season as one of the designated hitter candidates for the Midsummer Classic.
The DH rule was not used in the All-Star Game last year when Griffey made a triumphant return to the Mariners following a 10-year absence, primarily with the Reds. He also was a three-time National League All-Star.
Griffey has played in nine All-Star Games, batting .440 (11-for-25) with one home run and seven RBIs.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game, to be played in Anaheim on July 13, will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Mariners fans can cast votes at Safeco Field from April 30 through June 6.
Appearing on the ballot for the 10th straight year is right fielder Ichiro Suzuki. He is trying to match the franchise record, currently held by Griffey, for the most consecutive selections to the star-studded team.
Like Griffey in 1992, Ichiro has been selected as the game's Most Valuable Player, in 2007.
After being on the ballot as a second baseman for the past three seasons, Jose Lopez is listed as a third baseman this year, while teammate Chone Figgins, a backup third baseman in the Midsummer Classic a year ago, is on the ballot as a second baseman.
"Being on the ballot as a third baseman doesn't make it any easier to be selected by the fans because there are some really good third basemen in the league, starting with [former Mariner] Adrian [Beltre]," said Lopez.
Catcher Rob Johnson is on the ballot for first time in his career.
"It's an honor to be on an All-Star ballot. You don't get on one as a September call-up," he said. "After being on the team for a couple of years, it's cool. It's nice to be on a ballot with so many good players around the league."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.