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Biggio and Bagwell among All-Star elite

Biggio and Bagwell among All-Star elite

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Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell are among the top All-Star vote-getters at their respective positions, according to the first round of National League balloting updates released Wednesday by Major League Baseball.

Bagwell is scheduled to have shoulder surgery on June 7 and may or may not make it back before the end of the season, so there's really no chance he will make his fifth career All-Star appearance this year. But Biggio has a good shot to make his eighth appearance, as he has received 253,108 votes and trails only the Dodgers' Jeff Kent in voting among second basemen.

The All-Star Game is scheduled to be played July 12 at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Biggio was an outfielder in 2004, first in center and then in left. Biggio's achievements at the plate were not overlooked by the fans, as evidenced by his top 10 finish in All-Star balloting. But in an outfield group that included the likes of Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa and his own teammates Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran, Biggio didn't quite make the cut as an All-Star outfielder.

Kent, who took over second base for the Astros in 2003, won the All-Star start by a landslide. With almost no competition among other NL second basemen, Kent had the voting wrapped up almost as quickly as balloting opened.

Biggio is back at second base in 2005, and he's off to one of the best starts he's had through his 17-year career. Biggio will have competition with other NL second baseman, including Kent, who plays for the Dodgers. But Biggio's chances to make the All-Star team improved greatly when he moved back to his old position, where he played when he earned All-Star status six times. Biggio also made the All-Star team as a catcher in the early 1990s.

All-Star balloting continues at Minute Maid Park through Wednesday, June 22. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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