Four-time All-Star Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, who has drawn 7,310,824 votes, is already closing in on the single-season balloting record of 7,454,753, which was set just one year ago by Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. The 2010 A.L. MVP, who is bidding for his fifth consecutive fan-elected start, paces the Majors with 64 RBI on the season. He is joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson (3,813,339) of the Yankees and Bautista (2,773,442). Bautista, who has hit four home runs in his last six games, is now tied for the Major League-lead with 23 home runs as he vies for his second consecutive fan-elected start. Hamilton’s teammate Nelson Cruz (2,681,019) and Adam Jones (2,633,259) of the Baltimore Orioles remain very close behind Bautista, followed by David Murphy (1,738,805) of the Rangers.
Seven-time A.L. All-Star David Ortiz (3,128,711) of the Boston Red Sox continues to hold off Michael Young (2,564,572) of the Rangers at designated hitter. Ortiz, who is seeking his sixth overall fan-elected start, is four home runs shy of becoming the seventh active Major Leaguer to reach 400 career home runs. Rangers catcher Mike Napoli (3,008,228), who is seeking his first career All-Star selection, holds a comfortable advantage over Minnesota Twins backstop Joe Mauer (1,772,228).
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 were distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which had 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Since the in-stadium phase of balloting concluded on Friday, June 22nd, fans still have the opportunity to cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions of the online ballot and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans.
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 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 provides 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 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.