Lewis looking for first All-Star selection
Three Giants with Midsummer Classic credits on ballot
SAN FRANCISCO -- The left fielder for the San Francisco Giants possesses five-tool talent, a flair for the dynamic and has played impressively to begin the season. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
But this isn't Barry Bonds, the 14-time All-Star who last played in 2007. It's Fred Lewis, who never has made an All-Star team but appears destined to make a strong bid for this year's Midsummer Classic on July 14 at Busch Stadium.Through Wednesday, Lewis was batting a robust .356. He entered the day leading the National League with a .519 on-base percentage. Lewis has maintained consistency despite moving among the first, third and fifth spots in the Giants' batting order, which also reflects his versatility. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 8:59 p.m. PT. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com. 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 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game 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. For San Francisco fans, balloting at AT&T Park will begin May 1 and end June 21. Lewis has displayed All-Star traits several times. Two seasons ago, he became the only Major Leaguer to have his first two home runs be part of a cycle and a grand slam. He also was the first Giants rookie to hit two grand slams in a season. Last year he earned the distinction of being the first left-handed batter to rap four hits off future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, now his teammate. Lewis, 28, won't let himself get preoccupied with the fan voting. "It's really nice to know that I'm on there for the first time. But it's nothing that I can get worried about right now or even think about," he said Wednesday. "You've got a lot of great outfielders out there. I'm thankful that I'm just on the ballot." The ballot includes three Giants who are former All-Stars: shortstop Edgar Renteria (1998, 2000, 2003-04, 2006), outfielder Aaron Rowand (2007) and outfielder Randy Winn (2002). Catcher Bengie Molina, who has made several strong All-Star bids in previous years, also is on the ballot. Giants besides Lewis who are on the ballot for the first time include first baseman Travis Ishikawa, second baseman Emmanuel Burriss and third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.