Last year, Jason Leblebijian made his first professional All-Star team when he was playing for Class-A Dunedin in the Florida State League.
He never got to play in that All-Star Game, though, making the move to Double-A New Hampshire midway through the season.
Now Leblebijian has another All-Star honor on his resume, being selected as the starting third baseman for the International League for the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 12.
This time, he's going to Tacoma, Washington with his wife and family to take in the All-Star experience -- a reward for a rookie Triple-A season which has exceeded outside expectations.
"Being selected at the Triple-A level is definitely a humbling experience," said Leblebijian, who has hit .294 this season with eight home runs while driving in a team-best 42 runs. He leads all Bisons hitters with 25 extra-base hits.
"Like I've said before, just being able to play every day and to stick to my game, my mechanics, things like that has just really helped my consistency," he said. "You just try to take it every day and take time with your approach and hope to tweak things here and there and just be consistent with it."
Leblebijian has been out of the lineup for the last two days, including Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field.
He took a pitch on his left hand in Tuesday's loss to the Red Wings. There were no broken bones, but he's been on the bench as a precaution. Leblebijian said he took some batting practice on Thursday and that his hand felt good. He is expected back in the lineup on Friday, which is good news for Bisons manager Bobby Meacham.
"I managed him last year," Meacham said. "He came up in June ... and before you knew it, he was hitting third. It was one of those things. I'm never surprised anymore at the guys that work like him, guys that prepare like him. Those guys are all prepared to play and chances are when you're prepared you have a little more confidence in yourself and you have success. That's what happening with Leb."
Leblebijian joins a list of five Bison third basemen who have been selected as All-Stars in the modern era -- Matt Hague (2015), Andy Marte (2008), Greg LaRocca (2003), Bill Selby (2000) and Russell Branyan (1999).
The Triple-A All Star Game will be July 12 at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. The game will be broadcast on MLB Network and ESPN 1520 with a first-pitch for 9:05 p.m.
Rally Herd: Twice the Bisons tied the game in Thursday's 5-4 loss, Buffalo's 16th in the last 20 games. After Rochester took a 3-0 lead in the fourth, the Herd answered with three of their own, including a two-run home run from Gregorio Petit.
After Rochester took a 4-3 lead in the seventh, thanks to two-out back-to-back doubles from former Bison Matt Hague and Mitch Garver, the Herd again came back. Buffalo scored in the eighth when a two-out hit from Jon Berti bounced just over the mound. Berti beat out the throw to first, allowing Petit to score from third and tie the game.
Winning run: Rochester took the lead in the ninth, again scoring with two outs. ByungHo Park lined a single to left that scored Zack Granite for the 5-4 lead. Buffalo could not get a base runner in the bottom of the ninth.
Back in the fold: Michael Saunders returned to the Toronto Blue Jays organization after starting the year with the Philadelphia Phillies. Saunders, who signed a minor league deal after playing for the Jays in 2015 and 2016, was in the Bisons lineup as the designated hitter. He went 1 for 5, getting a single in the seventh, and struck out once.
MLB rehab: Minnesota Twins' third baseman Ehire Adrianza (abdomen) started his Major League rehabilitation assignment with Rochester on Thursday. He went 1 for 4 with a single in the fifth, then had a sacrifice bunt in the ninth that helped move the Red Wings' winning run into scoring position.
Attendance: The announced paid attendance was 6,018.
Up next: The Herd opens a four-game series with the Syracuse Chiefs at 7:05 p.m. Friday with lefty T.J. House scheduled to start for the Bisons against righty A.J. Cole. The series continues with games on Saturday (7:05 p.m.), Sunday (1:05 p.m.) and Monday (6:05 p.m.)