06/01/2009 1:19 PM ET
Raul Ibañez, Hanley Ramirez join leaders in N.L. All-Star balloting
Hometown Favorite Albert Pujols Continues to Be Overall Leader with 1,240,395 Votes
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibañez and Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez have joined the National League's leading vote-getters in the second N.L. balloting update for the 80th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 14th at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Ibañez has jumped from sixth place among N.L. outfielders last week to the second spot this week with 817,849 votes. Now in his 14th Major League season and his first in the N.L., Ibañez (.332, 17 HR, 46 RBI, N.L.-bests with .684 SLG, 128 TB) is seeking his first career invitation to the Midsummer Classic. The only N.L. outfielder with more votes than Ibañez is Ryan Braun (.316, 9 HR, 32 RBI, .428 OBP) of the Milwaukee Brewers with 908,745. Rounding out the National League outfield is seven-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano (.246, 12 HR, 25 RBI) of the Chicago Cubs with 775,319 votes, while Carlos Beltran (N.L.-best .352, 6 HR, 31 RBI) of the New York Mets ranks fourth with 741,875. Beltran placed third in the first N.L. update.
Ramirez (.330, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 8 SB), who is trying to earn the starting shortstop nod for the second consecutive season, has taken the lead with 586,300 votes, running slightly ahead of Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins (569,639) and last week's leader, J.J. Hardy (500,570) of the Brewers. The N.L.'s two leading vote-getters continue to be on the right side of the infield: first baseman Albert Pujols (.339, 16 HR, 42 RBI, N.L.-highs with 42 R, .468 OBP) of the host St. Louis Cardinals has drawn 1,240,395 votes, while second baseman Chase Utley (.294, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 35 R) of the Phillies has garnered 1,111,963. David Wright (.333, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 12 SB) of the Mets leads at the hot corner with 685,972 votes, in front of the 482,059 cast for Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (.319, 11 HR, 35 RBI).
Behind the plate, Yadier Molina (.273, 3 HR, 17 RBI) of the Cardinals extended his lead over a crew of All-Star backstops. Vying for his first All-Star Game appearance, Molina has collected 629,007 votes, ahead of All-Star catchers Jason Kendall (471,557) of the Brewers, Ivan Rodriguez (423,369) of the Houston Astros, Brian McCann (416,149) of the Atlanta Braves and Russell Martin (385,532) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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 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 will sponsor 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 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 5th on the 2009 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. 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.