MINNEAPOLIS -- Balloting for the 76th All-Star Game reached the first pole with Twins players Joe Mauer, Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones on the American League leaderboard.Among catchers, the 22-year-old Mauer ranked fifth in votes with 104,536. Boston's Jason Varitek was the leader. In the outfield, Hunter was in seventh place with 223,429 votes and Jones was 14th with 85,644 votes. Boston's Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles' Vladimir Guerrero and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki were the top three. Fan voting determines the starting position players for the 2005 All-Star Game on July 12 at Detroit's Comerica Park. Voters online can cast their votes up to 25 times in the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites. Paper ballots also are being punched at each Major League ballpark. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30. The 22-year-old Mauer is in his first-full year with the Twins after his 2004 rookie season was limited to 35 games because of a knee injury. Jones has spent his entire career in Minnesota since breaking into the big leagues in 1999. Hunter made his Twins debut in 1998 and has since become a reigning four-time AL Gold Glove winner. He was also the last Minnesota player to earn All-Star election by fans when he was the AL's starting center fielder for at the 2002 All-Star game in Milwaukee.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.