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07/12/05 2:13 AM ET

Fans again to decide All-Star MVP

Ted Williams Award decided by fan, media votes

DETROIT -- Baseball fans always have the final say.

For the third consecutive year, you get to help determine the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award, now presented by Chevrolet, for the All-Star Game that starts at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday at Comerica Park. The Ameriquest All-Star MVP Vote is the fan's voice that has now become a tradition in putting the finishing touches on this annual celebration of Major League Baseball's best and brightest.

That only seems fitting, considering that fans helped decide the American and National League rosters in the first place. Now the only question is whether you, the fan at home, will see fit for an NL player to win this honor for the first time in nine years, or a deserving AL player.

Starting in the sixth inning, look for the opportunity exclusively at MLB.com to cast your vote for this prestigious award. Vote as many times as you'd like, right up until the end of the Midsummer Classic.

Fan voting counts 20 percent toward the official voting. The other 80 percent comes on-site from the Baseball Writers Association of America and the announcers from the All-Star Game's three broadcast rightsholders: FOX Sports, ESPN Radio and MLB International. The results will be announced immediately after the game.

Fans were first given the chance to vote for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award at the 2003 All-Star Game in Chicago. Outfielder Garret Anderson of the Angels was the recipient that night, completing a storybook 24-hour stretch in which he also won the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby.

At last year's All-Star Game in Houston, second baseman Alfonso Soriano of the Rangers was presented with the MVP honor. Soriano went 2-for-3 in that game, including a three-run homer off National League starter Roger Clemens to break the game open in a six-run first inning.

Soriano became just the latest in a long line of AL MVP winners. Not since Mike Piazza won the award in 1996 has an NL player been selected as MVP, as the AL has gone 7-0-1 since that Midsummer Classic.

All-Star Game 2005

"Hopefully I get another one," Piazza, the starting NL catcher, said during Monday's player-interview session when asked about the NL MVP drought. "I don't know how I can really top that year (1996), going back to Philly, where I'm from. That was a special All-Star Game for me. Mainly I want the NL to win again. When I was growing up and the NL was winning all those years, it was an issue. Now the AL is on a run. I know I want to win this game. But that's the era I grew up in. I hope (my teammates) are sort of concentrating on that."

The All-Star MVP vote is just the latest continuation of fan interactivity tied to this event. Fans voted in record numbers with in-stadium balloting and online, and then broke more records by sending Scott Podsednik of the White Sox and Roy Oswalt of the Astros to this year's All-Star Game with the Ameriquest All-Star Final Vote.

Tuesday's 76th All-Star Game will be televised live on FOX beginning at 8 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on ESPN.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.