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Hanley Ramirez takes the lead at shortstop in latest N.L. balloting06/22/2009 12:16 PM ET
Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins has reclaimed first place among National League shortstops in the latest balloting update for the 2009 All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 14th at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Vying for his second consecutive start in the Midsummer Classic, Ramirez (.328, 9 HR, 36 RBI) has vaulted over Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the topsy-turvy contest, which has featured three different All-Stars in the lead since balloting updates began. Milwaukee Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy was the leader at the outset before Ramirez went to the top in the second week. Rollins had led the previous two weeks. Ramirez has collected 1,648,482 votes, while Rollins and Hardy have garnered 1,494,466 and 1,051,309, respectively.
The N.L.'s leading vote-getter is still being decided among St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (2,934,794 votes) and Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (2,922,796). Pujols (.329, 26 HR, 68 RBI), a seven-time N.L. All-Star, had been the most popular N.L. choice throughout the balloting process until the three-time N.L. All-Star Utley (.297, 15 HR, 45 RBI), last year's top vote-getter in N.L. balloting, shot to the top in last week's update. Rounding out the N.L. infield is New York Mets third baseman David Wright (.349, 4 HR, 39 RBI), the three-time N.L. All-Star whose 1,698,366 votes are outpacing the total for his longtime friend and fellow Virginia native, Ryan Zimmerman (1,148,054) of the Washington Nationals.
Catcher Yadier Molina (.284, 5 HR, 23 RBI) continues to join Pujols as a host player bidding to be in the starting lineup in the Midsummer Classic. Molina's 1,496,285 votes put him out in front of the 1,180,312 cast for three-time N.L. All-Star backstop Brain McCann (.325, 6 HR, 28 RBI) of the Atlanta Braves.
Philadelphia's Raul Ibañez (.312, 22 HR, 59 RBI), who was placed on the disabled list on June 18th, remains ahead among all outfielders with 2,465,539 votes as he seeks his Midsummer Classic debut in his 14th Major League season. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.320, 15 HR, 50 RBI), a 2008 N.L. All-Star, follows with 2,178,144 votes. The third spot remains tightly contested between Carlos Beltran (1,779,344) of the Mets and Alfonso Soriano (1,639,664) of the Chicago Cubs. Beltran (.336, 8 HR, 40 RBI) is a four-time All-Star while Soriano (.224, 14 HR, 30 RBI) is a seven-time All-Star.
Major League Baseball's All-Star Game Balloting program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. More than 20 million Walt Disney Pictures G-Force All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, where each will have 25 home balloting dates, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Friday, May 15th. Walt Disney Pictures' and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' comedy adventure film "G-FORCE" is the title sponsor of the 2009 in-stadium All-Star Balloting program and has teamed up with MLB for the Grand Slam Sweepstakes. If a grand slam is hit during the All-Star Game on July 14th, the first million people who have entered on Disney.com between April 22nd and by 11:59 p.m. (PT) on July 14th will receive a code that can be redeemed for a free ticket to the 3-D comedy adventure movie "G-FORCE" on its opening day, July 24th, at participating theaters.
Fans around the world 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 Web sites, which offer English and Spanish-language ballots. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Sunday, June 28th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their final ballots exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites until Thursday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). In addition, Banco BHD sponsors All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available offline and online at www.bhd.com.do from May 5th-June 22nd.
The 2009 A.L. and N.L. All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 5th on the 2009 MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi, televised nationally on TBS from 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EDT). The A.L. and N.L. All-Star Teams will both have eight fan-elected starters. Twenty-three reserves for both squads will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star Team managers - A.L. skipper Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays and N.L. manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies - in conjunction with MLB.
Immediately following the announcement of the A.L. and N.L. All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 32-man roster via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote on MLB.com, casting their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period. The winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 9th. For the fifth year, fans will also be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phone; Sprint subscribers will have the exclusive opportunity to cast votes for the winners of the Final Vote by text on Sprint capable phones. Standard text rates apply. Finally, fans once again will participate in the official voting for the 80th All-Star Game's Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote on MLB.com.
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 8:00 p.m. (EDT)/7:00 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.