Utley among five Phillies pacing N.L. in first All-Star balloting update

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Four-time National League All-Star Chase Utley of the defending N.L. Champion Philadelphia Phillies is Major League Baseball’s top vote-getter in the first N.L. balloting figures for the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Utley, a native of Southern California who attended UCLA, has started at second base for the N.L. in each of the last four Midsummer Classics, and has received 687,724 votes, well ahead of Rickie Weeks (169,941) of the Milwaukee Brewers. Three-time N.L. MVP and eight-time All-Star Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals leads the way at first base, ranking second overall in the Majors with 647,666 votes. Pujols, who recorded the second-highest vote total in M.L. history in 2009 (5,397,374), ranks ahead of Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard (329,673). Joining Utley among the N.L. leaders are his teammates Jimmy Rollins (340,747), who leads Hanley Ramirez (309,244) of the Florida Marlins at shortstop, and Placido Polanco (309,458), who is ahead of David Wright (236,387) of the New York Mets at third base. Rollins is seeking his fourth All-Star selection, while Polanco was a starter at second base for the A.L. in 2007. Behind the plate, Yadier Molina (316,795) of the Cardinals leads Carlos Ruiz (259,227) of the Phillies as well as veteran All-Stars Ivan Rodriguez (247,998) of the Washington Nationals and Brian McCann (203,377) of the Atlanta Braves in an attempt to make his second consecutive start.

The N.L. outfield is led by Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, who has drawn 423,834 votes, and Phillies teammates Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino, who have totaled 365,402 and 348,841 votes, respectively. Braun, also a native of Southern California, has started in the outfield for the N.L. in each of the last two seasons. Werth made his first All-Star team in 2009, while Victorino led all vote-getters in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote to claim his first All-Star selection. Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers is fourth among N.L. outfielders with 316,383 votes, followed by Matt Holliday (309,463) of the Cardinals and Jason Heyward (304,547) of the Braves. Heyward’s vote total represents the third most in history by a rookie in the first balloting totals, behind two Cubs teammates in 2008: Geovany Soto (343,427) and Kosuke Fukudome (325,456).

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. 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. Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Monday, May 10th. As part of a new sponsorship with Scotts, the official sponsor of the 2010 Retail All-Star Balloting Program, fans can also vote at approximately 1,700 Lowe’s locations nationwide.

Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club Web sites. The 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint offers English and Spanish-language versions of the ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Sprint subscribers also can vote on select Sprint mobile devices and can visit MLB.com/Sprint for complete details on mobile voting. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Wednesday, June 23rd, fans will have the opportunity to cast their final ballots exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites until Thursday, July 1st at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

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 includes 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.

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

Banco BHD sponsors All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available online at www.bhd.com.do and at All-Star balloting terminals across more than 80 branches, through July 1st.

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 presented by Taco Bell, 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 Philadelphia 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 MLB.com 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 8th. 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 MLB.com will have fans again participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game 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, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Updated 05-27-2010

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