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Kinsler a close second in Final Vote race

Kinsler a close second in Final Vote

ANAHEIM -- Rangers Captain is being called upon to help get out the vote for second baseman Ian Kinsler in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote.

The Rangers mascot appeared at the Texas Rangers Team Shop in downtown Fort Worth from 12-1 p.m. CT on Thursday to encourage fans to cast their votes for Kinsler during the final hours of the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote. The voting ends at 3 p.m. on Thursday. The Rangers Team Shop is located at 316 Main St. in Sundance Square.

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Kinsler is currently running a close second to Brandon Inge of the Tigers in the latest update of fan balloting.

To encourage fans to vote for Kinsler online, the Rangers are offering a pair of All-Star sweepstakes prizes:

• A suite for 20 at the Rangers' game with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, July 21, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

• An All-Star package featuring autographed bats from Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young.

Fans will be automatically registered for both sweepstakes each of the first 25 times they vote for Kinsler in the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote on texasrangers.com/allstar.

Kinsler is currently hitting .252 with 20 home runs, 54 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. If Kinsler continues at this pace with his home runs and his stolen bases, it would be the 51st time in Major League history that a player has hit at least 30 home runs and stolen at least 30 bases in a season.

"It would be a great class to be a part of," Kinsler said. "I don't think there are too many guys who have gone 30-30 in a season. It would be something I'm proud of."

Alfonso Soriano is the only Rangers player to accomplish the feat when he hit 36 home runs and stole 30 bases in 2005. Bobby Bonds did it in 1978 while playing for both the Rangers and White Sox.

Balloting remains ahead of last year's record pace as 34.3 million votes have been cast exclusively on MLB.com and the individual club sites. After a final early morning update on Thursday, winners will be announced shortly after the conclusion of balloting at 3 p.m. There is no limit to the ballots you can cast, and you can follow @MLB on Twitter to see constantly retweeted campaign tweets and up-to-the-minute examples of this voting craze.

Mobile voting is available exclusively on Sprint capable mobile phones and fans can send the word "Vote" to 1122 to receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote ballot. Standard text rates apply. In Canada, fans should text the word "Vote" to 88555.

Kinsler joins Inge, Chone Figgins of the Angels, Adam Lind of the Blue Jays and Carlos Pena of the Rays as the candidates for the American League's final roster spot. This is the first time that the Rangers have had a player in the Final Vote.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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