Major League Baseball today marked the official start of All-Star Balloting for the 85th All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins. Major League Baseball and the Twins held a press conference at their ballpark today, which included Jim Pohlad, owner of the Twins; Dave St. Peter, President of the Twins; Tim Brosnan, MLB's Executive Vice President of Business; Six-time All-Star Joe Mauer; Hall of Famers and T-Mobile All-Star FanFest Spokespersons Rod Carew, Paul Molitor and Bert Blyleven; Eight-time All-Star and T-Mobile All-Star FanFest Spokesperson Tony Oliva; Barb Johnson, Minneapolis City Council President; City of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; Mike Opat, Hennepin County Commissioner; and Emcee Cory Provus, Twins radio play by play broadcaster.
MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB's 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.
Beginning today, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian will be available in English and Spanish, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese versions of the online ballot will be available in May. Banco BHD will sponsor online 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.
Every Major League Club will begin its in-stadium balloting between today and May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, 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, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 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, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.
"Major League Baseball is proud to stand alongside one of our model franchises, the Minnesota Twins, as we renew a special baseball tradition today," Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. "The participation of our fans in the All-Star balloting process is a key part of their extraordinary bond with the Midsummer Classic. The Twin Cities will be marvelous hosts for a celebration of the very best of our game."
For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot will feature the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll also will be available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. 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 - N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's 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 and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th 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. 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.