By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
The 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote ballots came in Thursday afternoon and the end result did not change much from when voting started Sunday afternoon. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delabar and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman each collected wire-to-wire victories in record-setting fashion.
There was a total of 79.2 million votes cast, blowing away the previous record of 68.6 in 2009. 10.2 million of the votes this year were cast through text messages as well. Freeman broke the record with 19.7 million votes being placed, breaking the previous record held by Shane Victorino of 15.6 in 2009. Delabar received 9.6 million votes to pace the American League.
To the surprise of many, Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig finished second. There were plenty of opinions to be had surrounding Puig about being a member of the All-Star game and ultimately he did not make it; it was not for a lack of trying though as Puig had a ton of support, also breaking Victorino’s record but not being able to overcome Freeman.
Coming as no surprise, Freeman dominated the south eastern region of the United States which could be renamed Braves country. Puig got a ton of support from the southern part of Florida but it was not enough to surpass Freeman. In the NL, Freeman and Puig were followed by San Francisco Giants Hunter Pence, Washington Nationals Ian Desmond and Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez.
In the AL, Delabar paced everyone throughout the voting process, never really being in danger of relinquishing the top spot. New York Yankees pitcher David Robertson finished second, followed by Detroit Tigers Joaquin Benoit, Boston Red Sox Koji Uehara and Texas Rangers Tanner Scheppers.
This season MLB introduced a twitter voting aspect as well. A six-hour block concluded the voting Thursday afternoon as fans would tweet out a player’s designated hash tag to register a vote. More than 4,200 tweets were sent per minute, with an astounding 24,660 sent in the last minute of voting at 3:59 P.M. ET. Not surprisingly, the top two hash tags were #VoteFreddie (Freeman) and #VotePuig (Puig). #HighSocksForVotes (Robertson) finished third while #RaiseTheBar (Delabar) and #HighFiveCiti (Uehara) rounded out the top five.
Both Freeman and Delabar are very deserving of their All-Star nominations. Freeman has been an anchor in the middle of the Braves lineup, with a slash line of .313/.392/.477 with 60 RBI. Delabar, whose path to the MLB was an interesting one, has dominated out of the Blue Jays bullpen this season with a 1.74 ERA, 1.23 WHIP with 57 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched.
The 2013 All-Star Game festivities will be taking place at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets. The Home Run Derby will take place Monday night, followed by the 84th edition of the Mid-Summer Classic Tuesday.