After thousands of nominees from across the United States and Canada were narrowed to 90 finalists, Major League Baseball and People have announced the 30 winners of the "All-Stars Among Us" campaign, which spotlights people who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities.
The Dodgers' "All-Star" is Barbara Palilis of Los Angeles, chosen by fans across the nation for founding a skills program which targets teens and young adults with disabilities.
In Palilis' Circle of Friends, teens partner with a non-disabled peer to enable and encourage each to learn life skills such as understanding and acceptance.
Palilis and the rest of the winners will be honored during the pregame ceremony at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis on July 14 on FOX, at which President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. One club representative also will be featured in People Magazine.
Nearly three quarters of a million votes were cast by fans across the nation in the All-Stars Among Us campaign to select the 30 "All-Stars Among Us" winners -- one per Major League team -- out of the pool of 90 finalists who are serving as leaders within their communities.
The other finalists for the Dodgers were:
Jason Silver of Malibu, Calif., who takes visually handicapped children to live sports events in Los Angeles through his nonprofit organization, 20/20 Sports Experience. Funded solely through donations, 20/20 Sports Experience helps kids with impaired vision lead a more fulfilling life and have lots of fun in the process.
Gerardo Gomez of Pasadena, Calif., a dedicated activist for homeless people in the U.S., Chile and South Africa since 1997. He organized the first homeless youth soccer team from Los Angeles to attend the Homeless World Cup in Australia. He also brings groups of homeless to soccer and Dodgers games.
Meanwhile, vote for your favorite players with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 sites.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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 5 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.