LOCAL NEWS

Unique campaign showcases Seattle standout vying for final MLB All-Star slot

Jul 8, 2016, 7:40 AM | Updated: 9:11 am
Seattle-native and Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb poses with a sheep as part of the e...
Seattle-native and Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb poses with a sheep as part of the effort to get him elected to the final spot on the National League All Star team. (Diamondbacks photo)
(Diamondbacks photo)

In this campaign season, a Seattle man is locked in a fierce election battle for a coveted slot on a national ticket – the final spot on the National League All-Star team.

You could call him Major League Baseball’s wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or we should say lamb; Jake Lamb, to be exact.

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The quiet kid who grew up in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood and attended Blanchet High School and the University of Washington has emerged as the newest star for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Now, the third baseman is among five players vying for the final spot on the All-Star team.

Each year fans make the decision and every team is pushing their players hard. Lamb says growing up he never expected to be in this position.

“I never thought that,” Lamb said. “I never thought about playing in the big leagues. And people don’t really believe me when I say that but I was always just playing baseball because I liked playing sports. Just like I was playing basketball. Just like I was playing football at Blanchet.”

Even when Lamb started getting college recruiting letters his junior year of high school, the big leagues were little more than a long shot.

“And then I went to UW and still it wasn’t anything crazy,” he said. “I think I had 10 home runs in three years. But still, the Diamondbacks took a chance on me.”

That chance has more than paid off.

Lamb is hitting .293, with 20 homers and 61 RBIs.

The baseball world can’t help but notice, adding him to the final five (although many argue he should have been an automatic selection.)

With fan voting ending Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., the Diamondbacks, Lamb’s teammates, friends, and family have been lobbying hard for his election to the All-Star team.

In a year that’s seen such nastiness in the presidential race, the campaign for Lamb has been downright delightful. They’ve held up #VoteLamb signs and oversized Lamb heads behind him during interviews and gone so far as bringing a real lamb in a sombrero into the locker room and onto the field.

“Everyone’s tagging me and voting for me and I’m getting non-stop text messages from people back home,” Lamb said. “And it’s really cool. “It means a lot to me and whether I make it or not, it’s just crazy to see how much support I have.”

His favorite post so far is a video parodying a State Farm insurance commercial where a wife catches her husband talking to an agent named Jake in the middle of the night. In this case, Jake is Lamb.

“If you know me at all, I don’t necessarily like all the attention. I kind of like to lay low. So I’m ready for it to be over,” he laughed.

Still, Lamb says it’s all been a lot of fun.

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“Things like this kind of just remind you that sometimes we just get kind of caught up in the course of the season and we start going through the motions and we treat it too much as a job. This definitely reminds you that this is just fun…and having a sheep in the clubhouse was extremely entertaining,” Lamb chuckled.

But with the deadline looming, Lamb needs your vote. Right now, he trails three others with the balloting ending at 1 p.m.

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Unique campaign showcases Seattle standout vying for final MLB All-Star slot