Atlanta Braves rookie Jason Heyward has soared from fifth place last week to second this week to join the leading outfielders in the third N.L. balloting update for the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim .
The 20-year-old Heyward has garnered 1,008,451 votes, the most ever by a rookie after the third balloting tally, exceeding the 969,853 votes for Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto through three updates in 2008. Ken Griffey Jr. was the only player younger than Heyward to be selected by the fans in All-Star balloting when he was named a starter in 1990 at 20 years, eight months old. Jason, who received the National League Rookie of the Month Award presented by Gillette for both April and May, is closing in on Ryan Braun (1,017,266) of the Milwaukee Brewers for the top outfield spot. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who has received 985,305 votes, rounds out the outfield, while Philadelphia Phillies teammates Jayson Werth (901,978) and Shane Victorino (819,756)
remain close behind.
Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins is seeking to become the first N.L. shortstop to start three straight All-Star Games since Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith started 10 consecutive contests from 1983-1992. Ramirez has totaled 835,275 votes to overtake Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (792,987)
, who led at the position in each of the first two weeks. Ramirez is joined up the middle by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley
, who remains the N.L.’s leading vote-getter with 1,573,248 votes
. Utley, who is followed by Martin Prado (595,250) of the Braves, is in line to make his fifth consecutive fan-elected start, the most since Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg started in eight straight from 1986-1993. Utley is challenged by Cardinals eight-time All-Star first baseman Albert Pujols for the top vote-getter spot in the N.L. The three-time N.L. MVP has received 1,549,941 votes and remains in front of two-time All-Stars Ryan Howard (761,852
) of the Phillies and Prince Fielder (416,360) of the Brewers. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco
rounds out the N.L. infield with 726,324 votes
, followed by David Wright (550,935) of the New York Mets.
Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina has collected 762,875 votes, and leads Atlanta catcher Brian McCann (676,400), who jumped from fourth place to second place since last week. Carlos Ruiz
of the Phillies is third with 604,192 votes
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 home dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Monday, May 10th. As part of a new sponsorship with Scotts, the official sponsor of the 2010 Retail All-Star Balloting Program, fans can also vote at approximately 1,700 Lowe’s locations nationwide.
Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club Web sites. The 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint offers English and Spanish-language versions of the ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Sprint subscribers also can vote on select Sprint mobile devices and can visit MLB.com/Sprint for complete details on mobile voting. Fans can now help campaign for their favorite players through MLB.com’s new All-Star Campaign Manager program. Fans tally points by getting their friends, family and co-workers to vote, and compete to be recognized as on “official” All-Star Game Campaign Manager for any player they help support. For more information, go to mlb.com. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Wednesday, June 23rd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their final ballots exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites until Thursday, July 1st at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official sponsor of the 2010 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program, has teamed up with MLB for the Firestone/MLB All-Star Sweepstakes. Each in-stadium ballot includes a sweepstakes entry form to be completed by fans along with their votes for the All-Star Game starters. At the completion of the balloting period, one lucky fan will be randomly selected to win a new set of Firestone tires, as well as an all expenses paid trip to Anaheim to throw a ceremonial first pitch before the All-Star Game.
Scotts is the official sponsor of the 2010 Retail All-Star Balloting Program, which began on May 10th exclusively at approximately 1,700 Lowe’s stores across the country. In addition to casting their votes, fans have the opportunity to enter to win a VIP All-Star Week Experience, courtesy of Scotts.
Banco BHD sponsors All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic , making Spanish-language ballots available online at www.bhd.com.do and at All-Star balloting terminals across more than 80 branches, through July 1st.
The 2010 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 4th on the 2010 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The American League All-Star Team will have nine starters elected via the fan balloting program, while the National League All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers, National League manager Charlie Manuel of the Phillies and American League skipper Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees, in conjunction with Major League Baseball .
Immediately following the announcement of the A.L. and N.L. All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint. Fans will cast their votes exclusively online at MLB.com from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 8th. Now in its sixth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones, exclusive to Sprint subscribers. The final phase of All-Star Game voting at MLB.com will have fans again participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT)/5:00 p.m. (PDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.