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Showdown at third in 'All-Time 9s' debate

Showdown at third in 'All-Time 9s' debate

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have had some outstanding players to precede Michael Young at third base.

Three of them are battling it out to be a member of the Rangers' All-Time 9, the greatest single-season performances at each position in club history. Dean Palmer, Hank Blalock and Buddy Bell are all competing for the Rangers at the hot corner.

More than 4.1 million votes have been cast since the 9/9/09 debut of the "All-Time 9s," a platform for fans to debate the greatest single-season performances for all 30 Major League franchises. The voting marks the start of MLB.com's Lineup Card campaign, a gathering place for the posting and never-ending discussion of the greatest past and present lineups.

Here's a look at how the Rangers closest races are shaping up:

• Palmer leads Bell by 200 votes at third base. Blalock is about 800 votes behind Palmer.

• Rusty Greer and Ruben Sierra are neck and neck for the final outfield spot to join Josh Hamilton and Juan Gonzalez. There still may be time for Nelson Cruz to emerge. Greer and Sierra are separated by 100 votes with Cruz about 2,300 votes behind them.

• Ian Kinsler leads at second base, followed by Julio Franco and Alfonso Soriano.

• Mark Teixeira has about a 650-vote lead over Will Clark at first base.

Shortstop? Catcher? Remember this is about the greatest single-season performance. Alex Rodriguez was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2003 as the Rangers shortstop. Ivan Rodriguez won the 1999 AL MVP Award.

But the voting continues. Upsets are possible.

T.R. Sullivan 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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