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Posey overtakes Molina in latest N.L. balloting update

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has pulled in front of St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina in the National League’s second balloting figures for the 83rd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Posey, the 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year has earned 1,713,839 votes as he aims for his Midsummer Classic debut.  Among N.L. catchers, the 25-year-old is tied for first with 33 RBI, tied for second with 12 doubles and tied for fourth with seven home runs.  Molina, seeking his fourth consecutive All-Star nod and third fan-elected start, has garnered 1,576,199 total votes.

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New York Mets five-time All-Star David Wright leads the deepest race in all of Baseball at the hot corner with 1,358,992 votes.  Wright, who has started four of the last six Midsummer Classics, is trailed closely by San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval (1,103,650), David Freese (1,095,206) of the Cardinals and Atlanta’s Chipper Jones (1,054,586).  Joining Wright on the left side of the diamond is Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (1,200,256), who is leading Rafael Furcal (1,183,096) of the Cardinals in the tightest race in the Majors.  Tulowitzki, who is trying to become just the fourth different Rockies position player to be elected by the fans (Todd Helton – three times; Larry Walker – three times; Dante Bichette – once), is seeking his third consecutive All-Star nod, while Furcal looks to become an All-Star for the third time (2003, 2010).  A pair of two-time N.L. All-Stars – Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (2,108,725) and second baseman Dan Uggla (1,341,088) of the Braves – round out the N.L. infield leaders.  Votto, who ranks second in the N.L. with a .355 batting average, could become the first Reds infielder since Barry Larkin in 2000 to be elected to start by the fans.  The 2010 N.L. MVP holds a comfortable lead over six-time All-Star Lance Berkman (851,373) of the Cardinals, while Uggla continues to outpace Votto’s teammate, two-time All-Star Brandon Phillips (885,250).

The outfield is led by 2011 All-Star Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who continues to pace the N.L. with 2,589,464 total votes.  The 27-year-old, who has been selected as the N.L. captain for the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby, is seeking his second consecutive fan-elected start.  Kemp could give the Dodgers a fan-elected starter in three consecutive Midsummer Classics for the first time since balloting began in 1970 (also Andre Ethier in 2010).  He is joined in the outfield by six-time All-Star Carlos Beltran (1,782,831) of the Cardinals and four-time All-Star Ryan Braun (1,553,356) of the Milwaukee Brewers.  In a bid for his All-Star debut, Melky Cabrera (1,357,461) of the Giants, who leads the Majors with 87 hits on the season, has moved into fourth place after surpassing Ethier, a two-time All-Star who ranks fifth with 1,142,312 votes.  Five-time All-Star Matt Holliday of the Cardinals is still within striking distance with 951,652 votes tallied.

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast.  More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.  Also, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot.  During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions of the online ballot and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans.

Every Major Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 8th.  When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 22nd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2012 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program.  The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events. 

Scotts, the official lawn care company of MLB, is once again the sponsor of the retail All-Star Balloting Program, which launched on May 4th in select Lowe’s stores and Chevrolet dealerships across the country.  The Scotts ballot includes an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a baseball field makeover using Scotts products for your community. 

Banco BHD sponsors All-Star Balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball, and at All-Star Balloting terminals across more than 80 branches.  Coors Light provided offline All-Star Balloting in 60 Wal-Mart and Amigo convenience stores throughout Puerto Rico, through June 10th.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1st on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS.  The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. 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 – A.L. skipper Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and N.L. manager Tony La Russa – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, July 1st, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone.  Fans will cast their votes 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 5th.  Now in its eighth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.  During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. 

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10th.  The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed.  Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT).  ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game.  MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.  For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

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