All-Star reveal set for Franchise Four winners
'Greatest Living Players' headline on-field event during pregame ceremonies
Major League Baseball will reveal the winners of its "Franchise Four" campaign -- as decided by fans after more than 25.5 million votes at MLB.com/FranchiseFour -- as the main event during pregame ceremonies at the 86th All-Star Game next Tuesday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
MLB on Tuesday announced pregame ceremonies for the Midsummer Classic as well as the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders and All-Star Sunday. The "Franchise Four" festivities will include the on-field participation of the four "Greatest Living Players" and the selections representing the host Reds.
"Franchise Four" allowed fans to vote for the most impactful players who best represent the lineage of each Major League franchise and several other significant categories in the sport's history. Balloting lasted from April 8 to May 8 across 33 categories -- the 30 Major League franchises, as well as the Greatest Living Players, the Greatest Negro Leagues Players and the Greatest Pioneers, covering players whose career began in 1915 or earlier.
Additionally, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress Ciara will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Leo Welsh will perform "O Canada" as part of the pregame ceremony prior to the All-Star Game. Following the U.S. national anthem, the U.S. Navy will conduct a flyover featuring four FA-18 Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. The aircrafts performing the flyover are from two aviation units: the VFA-213 Blacklions and the VFA-87 War Party.
One of the "Greatest Living Players" will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Also part of the All-Star Game, multi-platinum-selling MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner will sing "God Bless America." Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.
Before the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, teenager Marlana VanHoose will sing the U.S. national anthem and Reds legend and three-time Home Run Derby champion Ken Griffey Jr. will throw the ceremonial first pitch.
Prior to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Brass Ensemble will treat fans to a special rendition of the U.S. national anthem. Later, The Mistics will perform "God Bless America."
Adding to the festivities, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will host nine youth players from Cincinnati-based baseball and softball organizations that have been BTF grant recipients in the past as part of its 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game "BTF Kids Take the Field" event. To celebrate its 16th anniversary, BTF invited children from six organizations to take the field during the pregame ceremony. The children, who will be joined by the U.S. Team players, were nominated for participation by their youth organization.
Live coverage of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game begins on MLB Network at 3 p.m. ET. The All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will be played after the Futures Game on Sunday and will air on ESPN immediately following the Home Run Derby on Monday.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the Home Run Derby. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds, and it will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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.