KANSAS CITY -- Will being hometown candidates from the site of this year's All-Star Game help the Kansas City Royals?
Guys like Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer will find out soon enough, because balloting for the 2012 Midsummer Classic will begin online Friday everywhere and at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night. To Kauffman goes the honor of holding the first in-stadium voting in the Major Leagues.
None of the Royals on this year's ballot for position players has ever been on a Major League All-Star team, so each of the nine candidates is going for a first trip.
Kansas City fans are expected to be voting furiously in hopes of seeing their favorites play as the All-Star Game returns to Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 9. The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.Butler, the Royals' designated hitter, has established himself as one of baseball's premier right-handed hitters with home run and gap power. Gordon, the left fielder, emerged last year as one of the AL's most feared hitters and also won a Gold Glove for defensive excellence. Hosmer quickly established himself as an outstanding rookie first baseman in 2011 and is seen as one of the game's rising stars.
The other Royals on the ballot are second baseman Chris Getz, shortstop Alcides Escboar, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Lorenzo Cain and catcher Salvador Perez, who is on the disabled list after knee surgery.
The in-stadium voting at Kauffman will continue through June 12.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.