OAKLAND -- Nick Swisher carried the A's offensively for much of the first couple of months of the 2006 season, but in part because he's so versatile defensively, bouncing between the infield and outfield, he didn't appear on the All-Star ballot.
Oakland launched a write-in campaign for Swisher instead, and while it came up short of putting him in the Midsummer Classic (since-departed ace lefty Barry Zito was the lone Athletic to make the American League team), at least he's on this year's ballot -- as an outfielder.
The most consistent hitter for the A's thus far in 2007 has been Mike Piazza, an 11-time National League All-Star, but now he's not on the ballot because he's a designated hitter. This year's All-Star Game will be played at San Francisco's AT&T Park, and it'll be played by NL rule.
So Piazza can only hope to get added to the team as a reserve, but Swisher, outfielders Milton Bradley and Shannon Stewart, third baseman Eric Chavez, catcher Jason Kendall, second baseman Mark Ellis and shortstop Bobby Crosby are among the Athletics who can make the team via the vote.
Chavez, in particular, might get a slew of nods from the Oakland faithful. A six-time Gold Glove winner who has eclipsed 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in several of those seasons, has never been an All-Star.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans around the world will again have the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote. The vote will begin immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Injured first baseman Dan Johnson, who started the year on the disabled list with a hip injury and hasn't yet played in a regular-season game, rounds out the group of A's candidates on the 2007 ballot.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.