Cheer on: Vote for the Astros' top fan of 2016
Winners on all 30 clubs will take home tickets, major bragging rights
Players, managers and executives receive their fair share of recognition each season. But what about the fans?
The most important part of the game -- you -- should be cheered, too. That is why Major League Baseball has stepped up to the plate to honor the inaugural MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance.
Nominees from all 30 Major League clubs will be featured on MLB.com/awards through Monday at 1 p.m. CT -- with winners to be unveiled an hour later at 2 p.m.
Vote NOW for the MLB Astros Fan of the Year presented by Esurance
Winners whose clubs reach the League Championship Series or Fall Classic will receive tickets to root for the home team on a late-October night. As for the top fans whose teams fall short of the sport's semifinals? Have no fear, as there's always next year (and free tickets to an April 2017 game of their choice).
Major League Baseball and the 30 clubs worked tirelessly to identify the sport's top supporters. But after great debate, the following Astros fans were chosen among a long list of deserving candidates:
• Valentin Jalomo: Easily recognizable, thanks to his cowboy hat and giant mustache, Jalomo hasn't missed an Astros home game in 10 years.
• Chris Wiggin: Known for sporting a gigantic custom Astros chain, Wiggin often pumps up the crowd to enhance the club's home-field advantage.
• Susan and Mike Welbes; Barbara and Jimmy Moon: The Welbeses and the Moons are season-ticket holders who show their team spirit by making creative signs for games.
• Zach Schulte: Schulte and his wife are superfans who typically attend 20-30 games per year and have been following the Astros on the road in 2016.
The MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance program represents the "first inning" of the Esurance MLB Awards, which honor greatness in Major League Baseball and serve as the grand finale of the game's awards season. Esurance MLB Awards voting will run from 3 p.m. CT on Monday to 1 p.m. CT on Nov. 11 and include nominees in 19 categories -- from Best Major Leaguer to Best Social Media Post to Best MLB Interview.
Media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and fans will determine the most #AwardWorthy players and moments from 2016. The MLB Awards winners will be announced Friday, Nov. 18, live on MLB.com and MLB Network.