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Historic pace has Bell eyeing All-Star nod

Slugger leads eight Pirates players on 2019 ballot
@alysonfooter
May 28, 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. CINCINNATI -- The tear that Josh Bell has been on since the season began is barreling toward historic, and with a

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.

CINCINNATI -- The tear that Josh Bell has been on since the season began is barreling toward historic, and with a few games left in May, he could leave a permanent imprint in Pirates lore with just one more good game.

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Two months into the season, Bell, whose 11 homers this month are one shy of the club record for May, has put together one of the finest stretches of any National League player. As All-Star balloting opens, it seems fairly obvious who the Bucs’ top candidate is of their eight nominees to represent his team on July 9 in Cleveland.

“It's been one of the most special starts I've seen in all the years I’ve been at the Major League level,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I saw [Larry] Walker's MVP season, Josh Hamilton's MVP season, I saw [Todd] Helton tear it up, [Dante] Bichette, back in the day. I played with some guys who did some incredible things -- a guy named [George] Brett, and this would rank right in the midst of that as far as a seven-week period of continuous offensive, strong production. It's been fun to watch.”

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Bell entered Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati needing one home run to tie Jason Bay for the team record for May. He is already one of just seven Bucs players to have homered at least 10 times in May. The others: Bay, Brian Giles, Willie Stargell, Bob Skinner, Frank Thomas and Ralph Kiner.

Bell’s heroics surely will be fresh on the minds of Pirates fans when they cast their All-Star ballots, and voting season is officially underway. Fans may vote in "The Primary" at MLB.com, all 30 club sites and the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps up to five times in any 24-hour period. Fans in the U.S. and Canada can also vote on Google Search for every position, or up to 17 unique players per day, by searching “MLB All-Star Ballot,” “MLB vote” or “MLB All-Star vote” or the names of their favorite players. Primary voting ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.

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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.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.