ST. LOUIS -- David Freese already has a collection of hardware, garnered during the magical few weeks the St. Louis-area native had last October. Now, he has the opportunity to add All-Star to his growing list of accolades.
Freese is among five National League players who are competing for the final roster spot on the National League squad. His competition in the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone includes the soon-to-retire Chipper Jones, up-and-coming hot shot Bryce Harper, as well as Michael Bourn and Aaron Hill.
Now in its 11th year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday, July 5 at 3 p.m. CDT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Fans can use their mobile phone to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Std rates may apply.
Not only is Freese expected to get significant support from his hometown, but his Cardinals teammates are also eager to help Freese become just the second player to win a World Series MVP and a Final Vote competition.
"We actually tried to [vote] before the game," closer Jason Motte said after the Cardinals' 5-4 win over the Pirates on Sunday. As Motte found out, that timing was a bit premature. The polls opened about the time St. Louis took the field.
A few hours later, though, the campaigning had already begun.
"I don't know how many times I'm allowed to vote, but I will for sure," said Carlos Beltran, who was named one of the NL's starting outfielders. "He's had ups and downs, but right now I feel like he's swinging the bat better. Hopefully he can make it also."
The organization, which has the benefit of playing at home during the voting process, is expected to do additional campaigning this week. Details on specific voting initiatives will be publicized on MLB.com as soon as they are known.
Freese became a national darling last October, when he had an historical run through the postseason. Freese carried that momentum over into 2012, hitting .333 during the season's first month. Through June, Freese batted .280 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs. He ranked second among all NL third basemen in each of those offensive categories.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. 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 6-20. 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 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The 83rd Major League Baseball 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 begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.