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Contreras eyeing back-to-back All-Star starts

Catcher, 2B Baez have big leads; five other Cubs in the running
@MLBastian
June 17, 2019

Read our FAQ on this year’s revamped balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters, and the ability to vote through Google Search. CHICAGO -- It has been eight decades since a Cubs catcher started an All-Star Game in consecutive seasons. That distinction belongs

Read our FAQ on this year’s revamped balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters, and the ability to vote through Google Search.

CHICAGO -- It has been eight decades since a Cubs catcher started an All-Star Game in consecutive seasons. That distinction belongs to Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett, who once belted a walk-off home run right before darkness fell at Wrigley Field, and just days away from wrapping up a National League pennant.

VOTE NOW: Google MLB All-Star Ballot

This year's Cubs also have hopes of flying a flag at the end of the summer, and catcher Willson Contreras will be a big part of trying to make that happen. In the latest round of All-Star balloting results released Monday, Contreras led National League catchers by a wide margin, putting him on target to start for the Senior Circuit in back-to-back years.

Hartnett was the last Cubs backstop to accomplish that feat back in 1936-37. His famous "Homer in the Gloamin'" came against the Pirates on Sept. 28 during the '38 campaign.

Both Contreras and shortstop Javier Báez are currently in position to advance to the next round of the voting in the Starters Election. If they win the vote, it will mark the first time since 1990-91 (Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg) that Chicago will have two starters in the NL lineup in back-to-back years.

With 1,672,062 votes, Baez had more than double the current runner-up at shortstop, Atlanta's Dansby Swanson (764,663). Contreras (1,555,490) was also well ahead of Braves catcher Brian McCann (725,484) in the latest round of results. In terms of overall votes, Baez and Contreras rank fourth and fifth, respectively, trailing only Cody Bellinger (2,184,251), Christian Yelich (2,065,382) and Mike Trout (1,904,273).

At first base, Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (948,047) currently ranks third behind Pittsburgh's Josh Bell (1,106,186) and Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (1,022,535). Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (850,758) ranked second to Colorado's Nolan Arenado (1,475,825). Among outfielders, Albert Almora Jr. (645,291) ranked fourth, Jason Heyward (614,823) was fifth and Kyle Schwarber (585,997) was eighth.

Fans may vote in "The Primary" at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark apps up to five times in any 24-hour period. Fans in the US and Canada can also vote on Google Search for every position, or up to 17 unique players per day, by searching "MLB Vote" or the names of their favorite players. Primary voting ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.

The top three vote-getters at each position (including nine outfielders) per league will move on to "The Starters Election," which begins at noon ET on Wednesday, June 26. The votes will reset for a 28-hour voting window that ends at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 27. Starters for the 2019 Midsummer Classic will be unveiled on ESPN that night at 7 ET. The pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Then on Tuesday, July 9, during the 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.

The 90th Midsummer Classic, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.