MLB launches 'Franchise Four' promotion

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball has launched a ''Franchise Four'' promotion for fans to vote for the players they think had the most impact on each of the 30 teams.

Eight players are listed for each team. Voting, conducted on MLB.com, also will be held for the greatest living players, greatest Negro Leagues players and baseball's greatest pioneers.

Balloting began Wednesday and ends May 8. Winners will be announced before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati in July 14.

Joe DiMaggio was voted baseball's greatest living player in 1969 and honored at the sport's centennial dinner before that year's All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. Fans voted for nominations then, and winners in several categories were selected by reporters and broadcasters.

Fans selected an All-Century team in 1999.

Players on the current ballot were picked by MLB official historian John Thorn and representatives from the Baseball Writers' Association of American, the Elias Sports Bureau, MLB.com and the MLB Network.

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