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All-Star Balloting for the 81st Midsummer Classic begins today
04/20/2010 4:46 PM ET
Major League Baseball today marked the official start of All-Star Balloting for the 81st All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 13th, with a special on-field ceremony prior to the Detroit Tigers-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game at Angel Stadium, the venue of the 2010 Midsummer Classic. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Balloting program, the largest of its kind in professional sports, saw an all-time high 23.5 million ballots cast in 2009.

More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 home dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Also starting today, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2010 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, available exclusively at and all 30 Club Web sites. The 2010 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Sprint will offer English and Spanish-language versions of the ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans.

Every Major League Club will have begun its in-stadium balloting no later than Monday, May 10th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Wednesday, June 23rd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots in the final vote exclusively online at and the 30 Club Web sites until Thursday, July 1st at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). In addition, Banco BHD will sponsor All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available online at and at All-Star balloting terminals across more than 80 branches, from April 20th-July 1st.

Firestone, the official sponsor of the 2010 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program, has teamed up with MLB for the Firestone/MLB All-Star Sweepstakes. Each in-stadium ballot will include a sweepstakes entry form to be completed by fans along with their votes for the All-Star Game starters. At the completion of the balloting period, one lucky fan will be randomly selected to win a new set of Firestone tires, as well as an all expenses paid trip to Anaheim to throw a Ceremonial First Pitch before the All-Star Game.

In addition, Scotts is the official sponsor of the 2010 Retail All-Star Balloting Program, which begins May 10th exclusively at approximately 1,700 Lowe's stores across the country. In addition to casting their votes, fans will have the opportunity to enter to win a VIP All-Star Week Experience, courtesy of Scotts.

"The launch of All-Star balloting today in Anaheim is the first of many events that will be a part of a memorable All-Star Summer for all of the passionate and loyal baseball fans who fill Angel Stadium each day," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Major League Baseball is thrilled that the 81st Midsummer Classic is coming to Anaheim, which already has two classic All-Star Games to its credit. We are looking forward to the third marvelous Midsummer Classic hosted by the Angels on July 13th."

For the second consecutive year, this year's ballot also will feature the State Farm 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 State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2010 State Farm 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. (EDT)/5:00 p.m. (PDT) on Monday, July 12th. The 10 American League candidates are Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers; the runner-up of last year's State Farm Home Run Derby, Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers; Aaron Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays; Torii Hunter of the Angels; Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins; Carlos Peña of the Tampa Bay Rays; Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians; Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners; Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees; and Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox. The 10 National League candidates are Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals; Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers; the winner of last year's State Farm Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers; Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres; Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies; Derrek Lee of the Chicago Cubs; Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals; Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2010 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 4th on the 2010 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. The American League All-Star Team will have nine starters elected via the fan balloting program, while the National League 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 - American League skipper Joe Girardi of the Yankees and National League manager Charlie Manuel of the Phillies - in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

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 34-man roster via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint. Fans will cast their votes exclusively online at from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 10th. Now in its sixth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones, exclusive to Sprint subscribers.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting at will have fans again participate in the official voting for the All-Star Game Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT)/5:00 p.m. (PDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.