07/03/08 1:50 PM ET
Final-day voting hits all-time high
Late balloting record set, thanks to tight positional races
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
Balloting for the 17 elected starters for the 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 15 at Yankee Stadium ended Wednesday night with record-setting volume in the Monster 2008 All-Star Online Balloting Program on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. Reacting to the tight competition at several positions, fans showed their passion by casting more than 41 million votes in the final 24 hours of online balloting.
The final-day flurry was 57 percent higher than the previous single-day record of 26 million, set on the final day of online balloting in 2005.
"The fans' determination to get it right, to identify and support the best of the best, has never been more impressive," said Dinn Mann, executive vice president of content at MLB.com. "The voters' appetites for information online and involvement overall demonstrate the overwhelming popularity of Major League Baseball and the All-Star Game.
"As the drum roll builds to honor both the final Midsummer Classic at Yankee Stadium, and the players who will take part in the going-away party, we are thrilled about what promises to be an unprecedented Monster All-Star Final Vote on MLB.com."
The overall numbers also showed significant increases over previous years.
A total of 214.7 million votes from 16.5 million ballots were cast at MLB.com and the 30 individual club sites, even though there were seven fewer days in the voting cycle compared to 2007. Those numbers represent increases of nearly 40 percent over the previous marks for total votes and ballots cast.
The voice of the fans will be heard loud and clear when the 2008 American and National League All-Star teams are unveiled on Sunday during the All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevy. The show will be televised nationally on TBS at 2 p.m. ET. MLB.com will provide the most comprehensive coverage of the All-Star teams, including video and details of every player immediately after the announcements.
Even after Sunday's show, there will still be more All-Star voting for the fans to contemplate.
After the show's conclusion, fans will once again select the final player for each league's 32-man roster via the Monster All-Star Final Vote, held exclusively at MLB.com. Fans will also be able to cast votes via their mobile devices.
The Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from two lists of five players -- one from each league -- over a five-day period. NL All-Star manager Clint Hurdle of the Colorado Rockies and AL All-Star manager Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox each will designate five players as candidates for the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote. Balloting will continue until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 10. The winner will be announced exclusively on MLB.com shortly after the balloting closes.
"We're excited to be once again sponsoring All-Star fan balloting programs on MLB.com -- it's a great opportunity to reach a wide range of people who are highly engaged and inspired," said Joan Blackwood, chief marketing officer at Monster. "Monster's mission is to help people to align themselves with their true passions, and the All-Star Game is a natural fit for our brand, as it's a celebration of those whose passion and dedication have taken them to the top."
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.