S.F. fans boost Clark, Williams Giants take leads in NL voting


First baseman Will Clark and third baseman Matt Williams rode the groundswell of the San Francisco Giants' electorate to take position leads this week in the National League balloting for the 64th All-Star Game to be played at Oriole Park July 13.

Clark, the NL's starting first baseman in four of the past five years, overtook last week's leader, John Kruk of the Philadelphia Phillies, despite a .249 average that only recently has been on the climb.

At third base, Williams, with 18 homers and 56 RBI, jumped from third to take a 43,000-vote lead. He climbed over the Atlanta Braves' Terry Pendleton, last week's leader who fell to third, and the San Diego Padres' Gary Sheffield.

Williams' lead was minute compared to that of San Francisco teammate Barry Bonds, who remained the NL's leading vote-getter with 536,241.

Bonds' popularity is such that he has opened a 200,000-vote lead over Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who has led NL voting the past three seasons.

Bonds leads the league with a .356 average, is second in homers with 17 and third in RBI with 49. Sandberg is the overwhelming leader at second base.

Ozzie Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals was the third new leader in this week's balloting. He overtook Barry Larkin of the Cincinnati Reds for the lead at shortstop.

Holding his lead at catcher was the Phillies' Darren Daulton.

In the outfield, Andy Van Slyke of the Pittsburgh Pirates and David Justice of the Braves retained their Nos. 2 and 3 rankings, respectively.

Major League Baseball also announced yesterday that Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson will serve as honorary captain for the NL. Gibson won 251 games in 17 seasons with the Cardinals, was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and the NL's MVP in 1968.

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