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Dodgers' Martin takes the lead behind the plate in NL balloting

Martin takes lead at catcher in NL balloting

Catcher Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers has stormed into the lead among National League catchers in balloting results for the 78th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at San Francisco's AT&T Park, it was announced today.

Martin was in third place among catchers in last week's figures, but the 24-year-old has risen past both of the catchers who represented the N.L. at the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, Paul Lo Duca of the New York Mets and Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves. The Canadian native had trailed Lo Duca by more than 90,000 votes last week. Martin, in his second Major League season, has drawn 615,406 votes, with Lo Duca, a four-time N.L. All-Star, right behind him at 602,629. Martin currently leads the Dodgers with 40 RBI and 39 runs scored, to go along with his .299 batting average, seven home runs and 10 stolen bases.

The other change among balloting leaders is in the outfield, where five-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano (693,255) of the Chicago Cubs has taken third place behind Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran (1,017,795) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (759,484) of the Cincinnati Reds. Beltran is the only National Leaguer to top one million votes thus far. San Francisco's Barry Bonds (651,246) and Atlanta'a Andruw Jones (576,589) follow the top three.

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Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals continues to lead at his position with 645,967 votes, but a fellow N.L. Central slugging first baseman, Prince Fielder (598,848) of the Milwaukee Brewers, has inched closer. Completing the rest of the National League infield are the three others who started with Pujols at the 2006 Midsummer Classic, all of whom were first-time All-Stars in 2006: second baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies (630,007) and Mets teammates Jose Reyes (752,923) and David Wright (757,164).

The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting Program is the largest balloting program in professional sports. The fan balloting program will determine the eight position players from each League who will start the 78th All-Star Game. Throughout the balloting period, 21 million ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks and an additional 1.7 million ballots will be distributed to 95 Minor League Baseball Clubs that are inseason during the balloting period.

In-stadium balloting at Major League ballparks began no later than May 3rd, while balloting at Minor League ballparks began between May 7th and May 17th. Each Major League Club will have 25 home dates during which it will conduct balloting, while Minor League Clubs will have 15 home dates for balloting. The in-stadium program will conclude at Minor League ballparks by June 16th and at Major League ballparks no later than June 22nd. Instadium balloting at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, sponsored by Rogers Personal TV, began on April 27th and will run through June 16th. Balloting in Puerto Rico, sponsored by DIRECTV, began on May 3rd and ended June 10th.

Pepsi, Frito-Lay and, for the first time, Quaker - all divisions of PepsiCo Inc. - will distribute 12 million Major League Baseball All-Star ballots exclusively at more than 3,400 Wal-Mart stores, where balloting began on May 13th and will conclude on June 17th across the United States. Pepsi has been the title sponsor of the U.S. retail All- Star balloting program since 1997.

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 Web sites until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot is available in English, Spanish and Japanese.

The 2007 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1st on the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised nationally on TBS at approximately 4:00 p.m. (EDT), immediately following the 1:00 p.m. (EDT) game between the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. Each All-Star squad will have a total of eight elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 23 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the "Player Ballot" and the two All-Star Team managers - American League manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and National League manager Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals - in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will have the opportunity to select the final position player for each League's 32-man roster at MLB.com. The Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period.

For the third year, fans will be able to vote for their Final Vote selections on their mobile phone. Both winners of the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote will be announced after the voting has concluded on Thursday, July 5th. Fans once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 78th All-Star Game via the Monster 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will determine home-field advantage in the 2007 World Series, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

Other announcements will be released as follows:

Tuesday, June 12AL Balloting Release #3
Monday, June 18NL Balloting Release #4
Tuesday, June 19AL Balloting Release #4
Monday, June 25NL Balloting Release #5
Tuesday, June 26AL Balloting Release #5
Sunday, July 1Starters & Reserves Announced


2007 MLB All-Star Balloting : National League
1st Base
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Pujols, A.Cardinals645,967
2.Fielder, P.Brewers598,848
3.Garciaparra, N.Dodgers567,218
4.Lee, D.Cubs406,736
5.Delgado, C.Mets371,790
2nd Base
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Utley, C.Phillies630,007
2.Kent, J.Dodgers458,533
3.Biggio, C.Astros425,320
4.Weeks, R.Brewers351,897
5.Valentin, J.Mets282,629
Shortstop
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Reyes, J.Mets752,923
2.Hardy, J.J.Brewers547,802
3.Furcal, R.Dodgers390,427
4.Rollins, J.Phillies329,706
5.Renteria, E.Braves324,543
3rd Base
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Wright, D.Mets757,164
2.Cabrera, M.Marlins581,840
3.Jones, C.Braves499,404
4.Ramirez, A.Cubs369,265
5.Rolen, S.Cardinals333,752
Catcher
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Martin, R.Dodgers615,406
2.Lo Duca, P.Mets602,629
3.McCann, B.Braves466,341
4.Estrada, J.Brewers405,275
5.Molina, B.Giants335,171
Outfield
RANKPLAYER NAMENL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Beltran, C.Mets1,017,795
2.Griffey Jr., K.Reds759,484
3.Soriano, A.Cubs693,255
4.Bonds, B.Giants651,246
5.Jones, A.Braves576,589
6.Lee, C.Astros469,258
7.Alou, M.Mets371,726
8.Holliday, M.Rockies358,366
9.Francoeur, J.Braves354,377
10.Jenkins, G.Brewers331,183
11.Pierre, J.Dodgers326,403
12.Gonzalez, L.Dodgers319,960
13.Hall, B.Brewers315,612
14.Edmonds, J.Cardinals299,167
15.Bay, J.Pirates297,107
Results updated: Monday, June 11, 2007
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