Write-in candidate Wigginton needs help
All-Star opportunity appeals to Orioles' leader in home runs
BALTIMORE -- Orioles second baseman Ty Wigginton has never played in an All-Star Game, but fans can help him get there.
A nine-year veteran, Wigginton has already surpassed his 2009 home run total by hitting a team-leading 13 long balls. Playing in lieu of injured second baseman Brian Roberts, Wigginton has 35 RBIs and entered Monday ranked eighth in the American League in homers, with eight doubles and a .493 slugging percentage.
Wigginton remembers growing up and watching the All-Star Game every year.
"There's a lot of great players who get to go and get the opportunity," he said. "It'd be an honor."
It won't be easy for Wiggington to crack the starting lineup this year, as he's not listed on the All-Star ballot -- fans can vote him in as a write-in candidate.
The 32-year-old is batting .272 with 26 runs scored in 60 games and has been a bright spot for an Orioles lineup that has struggled all season. It has also been a struggle for Wigginton to continue his early season numbers, given that the book is out on him. He has surpassed his 2009 walk total with 24 free passes and has been hit by a pitch six times.
"You've got to constantly make adjustments," Wigginton said. "I guess what makes it easy is I don't look at it from a numbers perspective at all, I try to look at my approach at the plate each and every at-bat."
Wigginton's teammate Nick Markakis has walked a team-high 36 times and is tied for eighth in the AL in that category. Markakis is batting .295 with 19 doubles and 21 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. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
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. The 2010 All-Star Game will be played Tuesday, July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
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 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.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.