All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full rosters Monday
Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday
It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.
After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.
Now it is time to kick back, partake in Fourth of July fireworks and fun, and finally see the people's choices. Starting position players will be unveiled in a new manner tonight at 7:30 ET on the "Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show" on ESPN, prior to the "Sunday Night Baseball" matchup between San Francisco and Washington at Nationals Park.
It is a departure from previous years, when starters and reserves were announced on the same show. After all the voting for starters, winners will have more priority recognition this time. Then at 7 p.m. on Monday, All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates for each league will be announced on the "Esurance All-Star Selection Show" on ESPN.
As a paperless voting era began, you responded in style with more than 500 million votes already cast as of Monday. The record was 391 million votes in 2012.
"Baseball fans represent the heart of our game," Commissioner Rob Manfred said at the start of voting in April, "and through All-Star balloting, I am proud to bring the best that our sport has to offer to the great fans and community of Cincinnati this summer."
Will Cincinnati fans see a hometown starter? Todd Frazier of the Reds was gaining fast on Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals at third base on the National League side entering the last few days of voting.
Will Jose Altuve of the Astros or Omar Infante of the Royals get the nod at American League second base? And how many Kansas City players made it after all? It's a far cry from just three years ago, when we asked at this time whether Jose Bautista might crack an exclusively Yankees-Red Sox rivalry lineup.
Nelson Cruz of the Mariners took the lead at AL designated hitter when the last ballot update was announced by MLB on Monday. But did he keep it?
The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL roster will have eight fan-elected starters.
Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of Player Ballot choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers, Bruce Bochy from the Giants and Ned Yost from the Royals.
Immediately following Monday's announcement, you can resume voting by selecting the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. You can cast your votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period, which concludes at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 10.
This will be the 14th season of the Final Vote, with more than 480 million votes cast to date. Last year's choices were White Sox left-hander Chris Sale and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Once again, you will be able to vote on MLB.com, club sites and mobile phones.
During the All-Star Game, watch live on FOX and visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. That is the last step on your long journey of All-Star balloting that started in April. Angels center fielder Mike Trout was your choice last year at Minnesota.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.