Major League Baseball today released the current leaders of the "Franchise Four" campaign, which allows fans to vote for the most impactful players who best represent each Major League franchise and several other significant categories in the sport's history. The winners of the month-long period of fan voting on MLB.com/FranchiseFour will be announced during pregame ceremonies before Baseball's 86th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on FOX.
With more than 11.8 million votes cast so far, the early highlights include the following:
- Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and Tom Seaver currently lead in the "Greatest Living Players" category.
- Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan currently appears on the Franchise Fours of the Los Angeles Angels, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. The only other players to appear on multiple Club Franchise Fours are Vladimir Guerrero (Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels) and Randy Johnson (Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks).
- Seven different franchises - the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, the Oakland Athletics, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals - have four Hall of Famers representing them in their respective Franchise Fours.
- Active players who appear among the leaders and remain with the Club they represent are Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Paul Goldschmidt of the D-backs, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, Evan Longoria of the Rays, Buster Posey of the Giants, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Mike Trout of the Angels, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, Chase Utley of the Phillies and David Wright of the Mets.
Through Friday, May 8th, fans can visit MLB.com/FranchiseFour to select the four most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise out of eight choices from its lineage. An additional write-in option is available to fans on the ballot, which also can be accessed on their mobile devices. Eight players were selected based on the recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel, in consultation with the 30 Clubs. The panel was asked to identify "the most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise (or special category)" for the ballot.
The panelists were MLB's Official Historian John Thorn and representatives from MLB's official statistician, the Elias Sports Bureau; MLB.com; MLB Network; and the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). In addition to the 30 franchises, fans can vote for three special categories: the "Greatest Living Players"; the greatest Negro Leagues Players; and the sport's greatest Pioneers, encompassing players whose careers began more than a century ago.