Three finalists per Major League club were chosen out of thousands of nominations from across the United States and Canada of "everyday All-Stars," people who have gone above and beyond to serve their community.
None of these individuals has thrown a pitch or taken a swing in the Majors, but they all are worthy of All-Star status. Only 30 of these community heroes -- one per Major League club -- will get the opportunity to step on the field at Busch Stadium to be honored alongside Albert Pujols and the friends he'll be welcoming to town July 14 for the All-Star Game.Fans are invited to vote in the All-Stars Among Us campaign, a presentation of People Magazine and Major League Baseball, for the 30 winners until June 24. One club representative will be featured in People Magazine.
All-Stars Among Us nominees are much like the three in Kansas City: Lisa Barrett of Great Bend, Kan., whose Military Moms organization ships care packages to military men and women; John Lair of Pittsburgh, Kan., who started a Special Olympics team in 2001 that has become the best in the state; and Anne Hull of Leewood, Kan., who launched Heartstrings Community Foundation to assist adults with developmental disabilities.Or how about the Giants among Giants in San Francisco? Adam Marchick of Palo Alto, Calif., who has helped more than 360 students with college scholarships; Caron Tabke of San Jose, who rescues homeless animals and helps educates children on pet responsibility; and Kendra Robins of San Francisco, whose Project Night Night provides children in homeless shelters with bedtime necessities. They assist the homeless and honor heroes. They rescue or protect innocent animals from harm. They are leading a battle to conquer a disease, or helping those with disabilities. They are doing what it takes to bring their neighborhoods together. They deserve your vote. Tough choices abound for every club. This ballot might be tougher than the one with Pujols and his buddies on it. Major League Baseball spokesman Matt Bourne describes the nominees as "people who have raised a significant amount of money for charity, who have made great sacrifices to dedicate their lives to charitable initiatives. People who have acted selflessly to help other people in need." These All-Stars Among Us are on the ballot now, so don't hesitate to vote for your team's representative. And you can vote for your favorite players with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 team sites, and look for Walt Disney Pictures G-Force All-Star Game ballots at Major League and Minor League ballparks.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, The Grind. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.