WASHINGTON -- For all Ryan Zimmerman has accomplished in his career, he has only been an All-Star once, back in 2009."Well, I'm not a notorious fast starter," Zimmerman said with a laugh. "So that's always been kind of the tough part for me. July's usually my month, which is just
WASHINGTON -- For all Ryan Zimmerman has accomplished in his career, he has only been an All-Star once, back in 2009.
"Well, I'm not a notorious fast starter," Zimmerman said with a laugh. "So that's always been kind of the tough part for me. July's usually my month, which is just a little too late."
Zimmerman was a part of a trio of Nationals -- along with Bryce Harper, MLB's leading vote-getter, and second baseman Daniel Murphy -- leading at their respective positions when the latest National League Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot was released Monday.
Voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. The starting players and rosters will be revealed on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Zimmerman's (1,728,607 votes) race is the closest among the three, as he leads Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (1,601,245) by a narrow margin. Zimmerman acknowledged making another All-Star Game has crossed his mind, but he also knows the depth of the position in the NL. Along with Zimmerman and Rizzo, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, Atlanta's Freddie Freeman and Cincinnati's Joey Votto round out the top five, with Milwaukee's Eric Thames and Miami's Justin Bour among worthy candidates.
"There's going to be probably three to four guys that should've made it that don't," Zimmerman said.
But with the kind of resurgent season Zimmerman has enjoyed, hitting .350/.391/.657 with 19 homers heading into Monday night's opener against the Cubs, he has a good chance to make it back to the Midsummer Classic.
"The celebration of the game through generations -- and the people that you get to meet, who have been some of the best players to ever play the game -- for me, the game was like the fourth or fifth coolest part," Zimmerman said of his first All-Star experience. "I think getting to hang out with some guys that you play against, obviously in the National League, and see how they kind of go about their business for a day when you have your workout, there's not really a better fun environment to be in."
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps.
The Esurance All-Star Selection Show will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Following the unveiling of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.