Ken Griffey Jr. is spending this '05 season trying to prove he can come back from reconstructive surgery on his right hamstring. Adam Dunn is spending it trying to prove he can build on his reputation as one the game's best young hitters. Those efforts just might earn the two Reds outfielders a spot on the National League All-Star team. The Midsummer Classic is to be played July 12 at Comerica Park in Detroit.
The first count of All-Star ballots has been released, and Griffey and Dunn are among the leading vote-getters in the outfield. Griffey ranks third with 261,554 votes, while Dunn ranks 15th with 136,079. Griffey, playing with three titanium screws holding together a hamstring, has still managed to come up with some big at-bats for the Reds this season. After a slow start at the plate, he has come back to show he can still be a dangerous threat in the heart of a lineup. Griffey, of course, is no stranger to getting some love from All-Star voters. If he's selected to the starting lineup this season, it would mark the 13th time he's achieved that feat in his 17-year career. Only Cal Ripken Jr. (17) and Rod Carew (15) have been voted to the starting lineup more times. Junior has played in eight All-Star Games, most recently in 1999. He has hit .435 in 23 at-bats in those games. Dunn, meanwhile, is trying to crack the All-Star roster for the second time in his career. His first appearance came in '02, which was his first full season in the bigs. Dunn is trying to build off an '04 season in which he hit .266 with 46 home runs and 102 RBIs. Thus far, he's put up some of the best numbers on this Reds team, as he's hit .242 with 14 home runs and 26 RBIs. But Griffey and Dunn aren't the only Reds worthy of All-Star consideration. Shortstop Felipe Lopez put up stellar numbers in May, a month in which he's permanently taken over the starting job. 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.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.