Balloting for the 2008 All-Star Game began Thursday.Major League Baseball today marked the official beginning of All-Star Balloting for the 79th All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 15th, with a special on-field ceremony prior to the Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, the host of the 2008 Midsummer Classic. The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports.

All-Star Game ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 24 home dates for balloting. Every Major League Club will begin balloting no later than Friday, May 9th. The in-stadium balloting period will conclude by June 29th. In-stadium balloting at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, sponsored by Rogers Personal TV, is scheduled to run from May 2nd through June 24th. From May 5th-June 13th, DirecTV will sponsor All-Star balloting in Puerto Rico, and Pacifico Clara will sponsor the program in Mexico. In addition, 109 Minor League Baseball Clubs will participate in All-Star Game balloting from May 5th-June 18th.

Starting today, fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Online Ballot at and all 30 Club Web sites until Wednesday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

"Major League Baseball has attracted record attendance in each of the last four seasons, and that tremendous enthusiasm has been evident via our All-Star Game balloting program," said MLB President & Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy. "All-Star balloting is one of the rich traditions of baseball, and we fully expect that this year's program will draw a magnificent response as we approach the celebration of the 2008 Midsummer Classic in the final year at Yankee Stadium."

The 2008 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 6th on the 2008 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, televised nationally on TBS following the Sunday MLB on TBS Game of the Week. 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 – 23 for the N.L., 22 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 Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and National League manager Clint Hurdle of the Colorado Rockies – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will have the opportunity to select the final player for each League's 32-man roster at The Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period. For the fourth year, fans will be able to vote for their Final Vote selections on their mobile phone. Both winners of the Monster All-Star Final Vote will be announced after the voting has concluded on Thursday, July 10th.

Finally, fans once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the 79th All-Star Game's Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the Monster All-Star Game MVP Vote on

The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

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