SEATTLE -- The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have partnered together to help send the "Beltways Ballot" of potential first-timers, outfielder Bryce Harper and right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel, to Kansas City for this year's All-Star Game.
Harper and Hammel are candidates on the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote ballot presented by Firestone, in which five players are chosen from both the National and American Leagues to compete for the final spot on their respective league rosters. Fans are encouraged to go online or use their mobile phones from now through 4 p.m. ET this Thursday, July 5, to vote as many times as they can for both Harper and Hammel.
Both were in third place in their respective league when Tuesday's balloting update was issued. Chipper Jones of the Braves and Yu Darvish of the Rangers were the leaders.
Fans who vote for Harper at nationals.com/finalvote will be eligible to win a VIP Meet & Greet with the Nationals rookie sensation during batting practice as well as tickets to a future 2012 game. In addition, fans who vote for Harper and choose the Nationals as their "favorite" or "other favorite" team at least 21 times can receive a 50-percent discount offer for two tickets to a select Nationals home game of their choice. Voting for Harper can also be done via mobile devices by texting N3 to 89269. For mobile voting in Canada, fans should text N3 to 101010. Standard data and messaging rates may apply.
Fans voting for Hammel will be eligible to win a VIP Meet & Greet with the pitcher, parking and four field box seat tickets to an Orioles home game in July or August. In addition, fans who vote online at orioles.com/finalvote at least 20 times for Hammel and select the Orioles as their "favorite" or "other favorite" team can receive a 50-percent discount offer for up to four tickets to an Orioles home game from July 24-29. Voting is also available via mobile phone by texting A4 to 89269.
Harper, the 2010 No. 1 overall Draft pick, tore through the Minor Leagues before making his Major League debut on April 28. Rated the Nationals' top prospect each of the last two seasons, the 2010 Golden Spikes Award winner was named the NL's Rookie of the Month in May.
Acquired in an offseason trade with the Colorado Rockies, the 29-year-old Hammel went 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA before putting himself on the All-Star bubble with a poor showing on Wednesday, when he allowed a career-high eight runs on eight hits and three walks in a season-low 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA for the season to 3.29.
Fans are encouraged to use the hashtags #BryceIn12, #VoteHammel and #BeltwaysBallot on Twitter to help encourage other fans to vote. This is the second consecutive season the clubs have partnered for the MLB Final Vote. Last year, Adam Jones and Michael Morse formed the inaugural "Beltways Ballot."
Now in its 11th year, the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone 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 4 p.m. EDT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
The fun doesn't end with voting, 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.
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.