How's this for an American League All-Star outfield?
Left: Brady Anderson, Orioles.
Center: Mike Devereaux, Orioles.
Right: Chito Martinez, presently assigned to the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
It's a kooky possibility, but one that will be offered to baseball fans as they are poking holes in their ballots for this year's All-Star Game atCamden Yards.
Voting for the American and National league teams kicks off today in Baltimore. Baseball officials are scheduled to be at Camden Yards to unveil this year's ballot, which includes the names of 224 players, ranging from perennial All-Stars to those whose best shot at attending the game probably is with a ticket.
The ballot should offend almost no one. Every team has a nominee at every position except the outfield, where, not surprisingly, each team has three.
The only players whom fans won't name to the team are pitchers and reserve players. Since 1970 -- when the job of choosing the All-Stars was returned to the fans -- those players have been selected by the AL and NL managers in consultation with league officials.
For Orioles fans, the ballot won't be a mystery. Except for Martinez, who was demoted last month, the hometown players are the expected bunch. Heading that list is 10-time All-Star Cal Ripken, who will be competing for votes this year with the Chicago White Sox's Ozzie Guillen, Detroit Tigers' Travis Fryman and the California Angels' Gary DiSarcina, among others.
Ripken is one of the most prolific vote-getters in All-Star history. Last year, fans cast 2.7 million ballots for Ripken, about 265,000 more than for runner-up Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs.
Ripken has led AL players in the voting three times (1985, '86, '92),and he is the only shortstop in league history to start in nine All-Star Games.
"It would be special to be able to play in your home city," said Ripken. "I've had the opportunity to play in a lot of All-Star Games, but it would be really nice to be able to play in this one."
Orioles second baseman Harold Reynolds, a two-time All-Star reserve, said: "It's always an honor to be on the ballot and have a chance to be voted in. That's a special privilege."
Third baseman Leo Gomez said: "I made the All-Star team in the minor leagues at every level I played, so I've always told myself that I want to get to the big leagues and make the All-Star team."
Mark McLemore, who has taken over as the Orioles' right fielder, is the only regular who is not on the ballot. "That doesn't bother me," he said. "That's secondary.
"Actually, this is the first time I've ever been asked about anything connected to the All-Star Game," said McLemore.
Three Orioles were named to the AL squad last year -- Ripken, Anderson and pitcher Mike Mussina.
Major League Baseball estimates that more than 40 million All-Star ballots will be distributed before this year's game, the first since 1958 to be played in Baltimore. Voting begins today and continues until July 4, nine days before the All-Star Game.
Results of the voting will be released each week during June and early July. The National and American league starters are scheduled to be announced July 7. The next day, the squad managers are expected to fill out their rosters by naming their pitching staffs and reserves.
O'S ON THE BALLOT
Members of the Orioles listed on the All-Star ballot, with number of All-Star Game appearances for each player:
Pos.. .. .. .. .. Player.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. No.
1B.. .. .. .. .. ..Glenn Davis.. .. .. .. .. .... 2
2B.. .. .. .. .. ..Harold Reynolds.. .. .. .. .. 2
SS.. .. .. .. .. ..Cal Ripken .. .. .. .. .. .. .10
3B.. .. .. .. .. ..Leo Gomez.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 0
C.. .. .. .. .. .. Chris Hoiles.. .. .. .. .. .. 0
OF.. .. .. .. .. ..Brady Anderson .. .. .. .. .. 1
OF.. .. .. .. .. ..Mike Devereaux.. .. .. .. .. . 0
OF.. .. .. .. .. ..Chito Martinez.. .. .. .. .. . 0