It was announced today that Omar Infante of the Kansas City Royals has taken the lead over Jose Altuve of the Astros in the fans’ All-Star voting for the AL starting second baseman. If the voting ended today, Omar would join 7 other Royals (and Mike Trout) in the AL starting lineup. The Royals 3rd outfielder, Alex Rios, has been injured most of the season. Following last year’s first post-season appearance since 1985 and 7-game World Series loss to the Giants, baseball is hot in Kansas City and internet voting has allowed a rabid fan base to “stuff the ballot box”. Although there is limit (35) to the number of votes you may cast from one email address, there is no limit to the number of email addresses that a fan can use (I voted 70 times).
For the 1957 All-Star Game in St. Louis, the Cincinnati fans voted in 7 Redlegs for the 8 spots (no DH of course). The lone exception was first baseman Stan Musiel of the host Cardinals. The Redlegs normal first baseman, Ted Kluszewski, was injured.
In 1957, most voting was done using ballots printed in the local newspaper. (I’ve read that Chicago papers didn’t bother to print them.) In Cincinnati, the paper made it easy to vote for the local players and many bars would not serve a patron until after a ballot was completed. It has also been reported that pre-filled ballots were also printed by local newspapers.
Anyway, Commissioner Ford Frick removed a couple Redlegs from the team — Gus Bell & Wally Post — and replaced them with Willie Mays & Hank Aaron. Frick also took voting away from the fans in 1958. Fan voting returned in 1970.
Many deserving players like SS Ernie Banks made the team as reserves. The AL team included White Sox players Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso, and Billy Pierce (who all have statues at The Cell).
Lest you think that I have anything against Omar Infante, let me point out his claim to fame (of which I’m about 99% certain)
On May 14, 2004, Omar Infante and Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers became the only players in baseball history to hit back-to-back homers — whose surnames begin with an I.