Martin on All-Star ballot for first time
Young Dodgers catcher is a deserving candidate for game
Every Dodgers starting position player is on the All-Star ballot, and many have already played in the 78th Midsummer Classic, but perhaps the most deserving this year is one of the least known nationally.
Russell Martin opened the 2006 season in the Minor Leagues, but he's quickly become a fixture as the Dodgers' catcher and he could follow the trail blazed by Paul Lo Duca, Mike Piazza and Mike Scioscia, who served as All-Star catchers representing the Dodgers in nine of the 16 years from 1989-2004.
Martin is joined on the National League ballot by Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, second baseman Jeff Kent, shortstop Rafael Furcal, third baseman Wilson Betemit and outfielders Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier.
The game will be played July 10 in San Francisco.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday, June 28, at 8:59 p.m. PT.
Fans around the world will again have the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote. The vote will begin immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
The first date fans can vote at Dodger Stadium is April 26, and the last day is June 17.
Last year's Dodgers All-Stars were Brad Penny, named the starting pitcher, and Garciaparra, voted onto the team by fans as the Final Player. It was Garciaparra's sixth All-Star appearance, which leads the current Dodgers, followed by Kent and Gonzalez with five each, Derek Lowe and Mike Lieberthal twice each, and Furcal, Penny, Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf once each.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.