CINCINNATI -- With just a few days remaining in All-Star balloting, five Chicago Cubs players continue to lead at their respective positions, including all four infielders.
Voting ends at 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday. That's when the Cubs can make history; the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals were the only other team that had its entire infield start an All-Star game. Anthony Rizzo is a near lock to start his first Midsummer Classic -- he leads National League first baseman by about 1.4 million votes. The other three positions are a lot closer. Second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Addison Russell and third baseman Kris Bryant all lead their closest competitors by approximately 300,000 votes.
"It's pretty exciting coming down to the wire," Russell said Monday after the latest round of voting was released. "It's actually becoming reality, maybe."
Russell is the youngest (22) of the group and seems the most excited about the possibility of making and starting his first All-Star game, but the Cubs recognize the historic nature if all four make it.
"I'm happy for all of them," manager Joe Maddon said. "It'll add to their self-esteem. It's good to be that young and to be recognized in that way."
Dexter Fowler is slated to be a starter in the outfield, while write-in candidate, 39-year-old David Ross, continues to lead in that category but hasn't broken the top 5 for catchers. The Cubs are beginning to realize the reach and passion of their fan base. They'll be the ones that help make history for the infield.
"The more that I'm here in this organization, I feel that more and more day in and day out," Russell said. "There's more Cubs fans than I could even imagine."
Starters will be announced on Tuesday, July 5.