Brandon Belt rides fan vote to first All-Star appearance
The fans have spoken: Brandon Belt is an All-Star.
He joked a few hours after hearing of his first career All-Star selection:
“I’m going to accept this nomination.”
The Giants’ first baseman was one of five National League players pitted against each other in a ‘final vote’ to select a 34th player to the All-Star team.
Belt was driving back from lunch at Cooperage in Lafayette — nerves curbed his appetite for his burger:
“…and deviled eggs, that didn’t help either. “
Ali Bumgarner (Madison’s wife) texted Belt’s wife with the good news.
The final vote — decided by fan text and Twitter votes — was swinging back and forth between Belt and Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte, but Giants fans pulled through in the final hours. Belt said he was overwhelmed by the fan and teammate support he saw on social media:
“The ones saying their fingers were going to fall off, got a lot of those. Those drawing pictures of giraffes, that was pretty cool.”
Batting .300 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI, Belt deserves the nod, said his manager Bruce Bochy, who made sure to lend his support:
“He owes me, I actually put in a few votes myself.”
Belt’s All-Star nod comes on the heels of a breakout offensive year; he leads the league in doubles (27) and has boosted his OBP to .399. and .917 OPS. This validates years of streaky play:
“I’ve put in a lot of work and the coaching staff and teammates have put a lot of work in with me so this is for them as much as it is for me too … I appreciate the organization for having a lot of faith in me.”
He rounds out a squad of four Giants — joining Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto — who will head to Petco Park in San Diego representing the team with the best record in baseball.
“I can’t believe I’m an All-Star this year. It’s pretty cool.”
This interactive map shows how the vote played out across America … and Canada, where Belt finished last:
“They hate me, which is weird because I love Canada. I love Shania Twain.”
Belt cleaned up California. He also did pretty well in his home state, Texas. He was especially pleased to see that Travis County — home to his alma mater, the University of Texas — voted in majority for him.
Belt got 98.4 percent of the vote in San Francisco.
Belt also wanted to point out that Madison Bumgarner was the first one to congratulate Belt on the All-Star selection — three days ago.