Votto up for first All-Star Game start
Fans can vote for Reds online for 80th Midsummer Classic
CHICAGO -- Joey Votto was one baseball's best rookies in 2008, and he has been on a pace to do even better in '09.Reds fans that want to see the first baseman represent their team on the National League squad now have their chance to do something about it. Votto is back on the Major League All-Star ballot for the second time.
Starting on Wednesday, fans 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 sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.The All-Star Game will be played July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com. In 2008, Votto finished second to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto in NL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. Votto led all rookies with a .297 average and 24 home runs last season and also had 84 RBIs. Since the start of 2009, Votto has been consistently the Reds' hottest hitter. On the NL ballot for the first time is right fielder Jay Bruce and left fielder Chris Dickerson. Also up for voting are second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, center fielder Willy Taveras and catcher Ramon Hernandez. Besides online voting, fans can also vote an unlimited number of times using the traditional in-stadium paper ballot. Ballots will be available at Great American Ball Park from April 27-June 20. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.