After thousands of nominees from across the United States and Canada were narrowed to 90 finalists, Major League Baseball and People Magazine 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 Cleveland Indians' "All-Star" is Dr. Michael Konstan of Bratenahl, Ohio, who was chosen by fans across the nation for engaging young people around the world in initiatives ranging from increasing access to education to fighting poverty.
Dr. Konstan has focused his life's work on cystic fibrosis and those with the disease. Due to his research and leadership, the life expectancy of CF patients has nearly doubled. His care and compassion have brought comfort and hope to his patients and their families.
Dr. Konstan 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 Indians were:
Bryan Mauk: The Cleveland resident is heavily involved in homeless outreach in the city as he founded the non-profit metanoiaproject.com and has helped lead the charge to address the homeless' needs through an overnight hospitality center and the rehabilitation of abandoned homes.
Michelle Wollenburg: The Newark, Ohio, resident has organized two baseball teams for special-needs children aged 5 through 12 and coordinates the volunteers who help out with the children while they play.
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 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.