NEW YORK, July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals and Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone in online voting on MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, the individual Club websites and Twitter, where designated player hashtags counted during the final four hours of balloting today.
The National League winner, Freese, topped all vote-getters with 8.4 million votes and was followed by Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; and Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was removed from the ballot after being named to the NL All-Star team.
On the American League ballot, Darvish will make his All-Star debut after holding off a furious final day charge from Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox with a final tally of 7.3 million votes. Darvish, the third rookie to win the All-Star Game Final Vote, and Peavy were followed by Jason Hammel of the Baltimore Orioles; Jonathan Broxton of the Midsummer Classic host Kansas City Royals and Ernesto Frieri of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone concluded this year's program with the first-ever Twitter vote as tweets with a player's designated hashtag counted in his overall total. This effort drew a sustained average of more than 2,500 tweets per minute, highlighted by a peak of 8,881 at 3:59 p.m. EDT, and accounted for nine percent of the total votes cast during the four-hour window. The leading Twitter vote-getter was #VoteBourn, followed by #FreesePlease, #VoteYu, #TakeJake and #BryceIn12 in the top five. All of the leading contenders had their hashtags trending in the U.S. and worldwide and all nine candidates trended in their local markets, ultimately leading to 50 million total votes cast.
Here is the complete list of previous winners: Paul Konerko (AL, 2011); Shane Victorino (NL, 2011); Nick Swisher (AL, 2010); Joey Votto (NL, 2010); Brandon Inge (AL, 2009), Victorino (NL, 2009); Evan Longoria (AL, 2008); Corey Hart (NL, 2008); Hideki Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.