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Zimmerman hopes to start All-Star Game

Zimmerman hopes to start All-Star Game

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WASHINGTON -- Known as the face of the Nationals, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman leads the club's contingent of eight players on the 2009 All-Star Game ballot.

Fan voting will determine if the Nats star will start the 2009 Midsummer Classic at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 14.

Zimmerman, who plays spectacular defense at third base, is joined on the ballot by outfielders Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, infielders Cristian Guzman, Anderson Hernandez and Nick Johnson, and catcher Jesus Flores.

Zimmerman, who was selected by Washington in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, is considered by many to be the Nationals' best player. In his first full two years with the team, the 24-year-old averaged 101 RBIs, but he missed 48 games because of a left labrum tear and drove in just 51 runs last year.

"Going to the All-Star Game is a goal for everybody. It would a great honor to play in there," Zimmerman said. "It's an accomplishment that everyone wants to be a part of."

Dunn, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal this past offseason, has shown that he is worthy of All-Star consideration. Since joining the Nats, he hasn't missed a beat.

"It's not a mystery of what he has done in the past four or five years," Zimmerman said. "He is good at what he does and continues to do it. He is going to do it for a long time."

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

In-stadium balloting at Nationals Park begins April 30 and ends on June 11.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
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