ATLANTA -- When Michael Bourn was bidding for an All-Star selection via last year's Final Vote ballot, Braves fans flooded Twitter with #VoteBourn during the final hours of voting. Today, they will do the same by tweeting #VoteFreddie.
Atlanta's Freddie Freeman was still leading the four other candidates on the National League's Final Vote ballot when the latest results were released early Thursday morning. Fans have spent the past four days casting their votes via the online ballot and text messages. The option to cast Twitter votes is now available until the balloting concludes today at 4 p.m. ET.
"I didn't know people knew about me," Freeman said. "I just go out there and try to win baseball games. Just to have people jump on my side and start voting for me is just incredible."
As Freeman progresses through his third full season at the Major League level, the baseball world is starting to take notice of his ability to provide both power and consistency at the plate. He entered Thursday as one of eight NL players who was hitting .300 with an on-base percentage above .380 and a slugging percentage above .450. But he was the only member of this group who has not yet gained an All-Star bid.
"It doesn't matter -- win or lose -- it's just been unbelievable what has happened the last few days," Freeman said.
Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and ends today at 4 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter. Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the Final Vote mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Freeman, simply text message N2 to 89269. To vote for Delabar, text A2. In Canada, fans should text N2 or A2 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply.
For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element, as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their Final Vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the AL and NL winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the balloting deadline.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 12-26. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on July 12 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.