Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game might be a few months away still, but the league will be launching fan balloting for it on Apr. 20. This year’s game will be the 83rd edition and takes place at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium on July 10.
The official start to the fan-balloting program, which is known as the largest in sports, took place on Apr. 19 during a press conference which was attended by former Royal George Brett, who is this year’s ambassador. This is the first time the game has been played in Kansas since 1973.
Baseball fans have a large say as to who plays in the Midsummer classic and the online balloting will be available until June 28 at MLB.com as well as the websites of all 30 teams. Each email address will be allowed to send in 25 ballots. The final voting takes place on MLB.com from July 1-5 and fans can also vote for the game’s most valuable player.
The winner of the game, which is contested between the National and American Leagues, will get home-field advantage in this year’s World Series. The National League won the last two All-Star Games as well as the last two World Series with san Francisco being crowned champions in 2010 and the St. Louis Cardinals winning the title last year.
Last year’s all-star balloting produced a total of 357.5 million votes and it’s expected that this year’s total could shatter that record. The 30 MLB ballparks will receive a combined total of 20 million ballots and close to 100 Minor League parks will also receive ballots.
The online ballot will be available to fans in several languages including English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. In addition, audio functions will be in place for fans who are visually impaired. Each stadium will start its balloting program by May 8 at the latest and will run until June 22.
Fans who vote are also eligible to win a sweepstakes prize which will send them on a week-long, all-expenses paid trip to the All-Star Game. There will be other balloting centers located throughout the nation and in the Dominican republic and Puerto Rico at various stores and banks that are operated by the game’s sponsors.
In addition, The ballot will enable fans to vote for players to take part in the annual home-run derby which is a popular part of the All-Star Game festivities. Fans will be able to vote for their three favourite players in each league for this event.
The Alls-Star teams for the NL and AL will be officially announced on July 1 and the nine starters for the AL will be the winners of the fan balloting program while eight NL starters will be voted in. the reserves and pitchers for the teams will be selected by player ballots and the managers.
The AL team will be managed by the Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington and Tony La Russa, former boss of the Cardinals will manage the NL. Fans will be able to vote online during the game for their choice of most valuable player.
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