05/20/2005 5:10 PM ET
MLB launches 2005 International All-Star Balloting Program
MLB and sponsors will distribute ballots in seven foreign countries and territories
Beginning Sunday, May 22, Major League Baseball fans in seven foreign countries and territories will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite players and help decide who will start the 76th MLB All-Star Game. Through the Major League Baseball International All-Star Balloting Program, MLB and its international corporate sponsors will distribute more than six million All-Star Game ballots in Canada, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Japan, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Sponsors of the 2005 program include Rogers Digital Cable (Canada), UTS (Curaçao), Presidente (Dominican Republic), am/pm and Yomiuri (Japan), Grupo EGSA and TV Max (Panama), DirecTV (Puerto Rico), Pepsi and Polar (Venezuela). In addition, MLB international sponsors will send fans from participating countries to Detroit for the 2005 MLB All-Star Game as part of All-Star sweepstakes programs.
The All-Star Balloting Program is part of Major League Baseball International's continuing efforts to reach out to baseball fans around the world. This season, Major League Baseball All-Star Game ballots will be available in Curaçao and Panama for the first time ever. In addition, fans can access the 2005 MLB All-Star Game ballot online in both Spanish and Japanese at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. Online balloting at MLB.com is sponsored by Ameriquest.
"We are excited to provide our international fans with an opportunity to help decide the starters of the 76th All-Star Game in Detroit," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "Thanks to our international sponsors, fans in many of our most supportive foreign markets will be able to participate in this time-honored Major League Baseball tradition."
The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting program is the largest balloting program in professional sports. The fan balloting program will determine the eight position players from each League and the DH from the American League who will start the 76th All-Star Game.
Ameriquest, the official mortgage company of Major League Baseball and MLB.com, is title sponsor of in-stadium balloting at Major League and Minor League ballparks, and online All-Star Balloting at MLB.com and the 30 individual Club sites. Ameriquest has provided 25 million ballots to the 29 U.S. Major League ballparks and 2.2 million ballots to 122 Minor League Baseball Clubs. The in-stadium balloting program will conclude at Minor League ballparks by June 26 and at Major League ballparks no later than June 27. Balloting will conclude on MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on June 30.
Pepsi and Frito-Lay will sponsor 2005 Major League Baseball Retail All-Star Balloting, providing additional exposure for the entire balloting program. Pepsi, which has been the title sponsor of the retail balloting program since 1997, and Frito-Lay, both divisions of PepsiCo Inc., will distribute 20 million Major League Baseball All-Star ballots exclusively at more than 3,100 Wal-Mart stores, from May 16 to June 19.
The 76th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB.com Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.