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Major League Baseball Announces 'Franchise 4' Balloting

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MLB is asking fans from all 30 teams to pick the greatest four players in franchise history.

Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

In conjunction with the 2015 All-Star Game, which will take place in Cincinnati July 14, Major League Baseball has introduced "Franchise Four," a campaign which asks fans to vote for the "most impactful" four players in their team's history.\

Eight players from each team are listed at MLB.com/FranchiseFour. The eight players were selected based on the recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel, in consultation with the 30 clubs. The panel was asked to identify “the most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise (or special category)” for the ballot. The panelists were MLB’s Official Historian John Thorn and representatives from MLB’s official statistician, the Elias Sports Bureau; MLB.com; MLB Network; and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). In addition to the 30 franchises, fans can vote for three special categories: the “Greatest Living Players”; the greatest Negro Leagues Players; and the sport’s greatest Pioneers, encompassing players whose careers began more than a century ago.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti said: “The All-Star Game is a celebration of the National Pastime, and Cincinnati’s rich baseball heritage makes it a perfect venue to highlight the great players who are synonymous with our Clubs and those who played pivotal roles in the game’s history. We believe that the Franchise Four campaign will engage fans in a fun and meaningful way and will link the past and the present in the manner that Baseball does so uniquely.”

The eight Cubs selected are, in alphabetical order: Ernie Banks, Three-Finger Brown, Gabby Hartnett, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Sammy Sosa and Billy Williams. There's also a place on the Cubs ballot for write-ins. You vote for four, and like the annual All-Star ballot, you have to submit a valid e-mail address. There doesn't appear to be any limit on the number of times you can vote. Here is the Cubs' team voting link. In fine Chicago tradition, vote early and often.

I'm posting a poll here that will (sort of) mimic the MLB ballot. SB Nation polling only allows you to vote for one choice in a poll, so in this poll, vote for the one Cub you think has been "most impactful" to the franchise. I'll leave a "write-in" space just like the one they have on the MLB ballot.

This sounds like fun and something that can engage fans of every team.