PHILADELPHIA -- The process of getting Ryan Howard to his second Home Run Derby begins April 18, when online voting begins for the 2007 All-Star game.
Howard, who is seeking to make his second National League All-Star squad, is the reigning NL Most Valuable Player. In 2006, he won the Home Run Derby. The slugger swatted 23 homers to win the derby and 58 homers during the regular season (to go with 149 RBIs and a .313 batting average) to capture the MVP.
He wouldn't mind heading to San Francisco's AT&T Park with teammate Chase Utley, who was voted to start last year by the fans. Closer Tom Gordon also went last season, his third All-Star appearance.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until June 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. In-stadium balloting at Citizens Bank Park runs from April 28 through June 17, or 25 home dates.
Fans around the world will again have the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote. The vote will begin immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans can participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised in the U.S. by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
All eight members of the Phillies' Opening Day lineup are included on the NL ballot: Howard, Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Wes Helms, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino and Rod Barajas. Of that group, Rollins has already made three All-Star appearances, once as a voted starter.
Rollins will compete with New York's Jose Reyes, Florida's Hanley Ramirez (the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year), and St. Louis' David Eckstein (the 2006 World Series MVP) for the nod among fans. Rollins is off to a tremendous start, leading the league with six home runs.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.