NEW YORK -- During a lengthy visit to the MLB Fan Cave on Wednesday with manager Charlie Manuel, Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino got to see the brand-new Tweet the Vote
pages on MLB.com and offered what could be considered Major League Baseball's greatest voice of authority on the subject of hashtags and viral voting.
After all, Victorino is the only two-time winner of the annual All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, shattering voting records in 2009 and 2011. Who better to advise millions of fans on how to use social media the next month to help get their favorite Major Leaguers into the July 10 Midsummer Classic at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City?
"The only two times I've been to the All-Star Game, I've been a Final Vote winner, so that shows me what it's all about in regards to fans," Victorino said. "Tweeting the vote with hashtags is great. The chance for fans to interact, giving them the opportunity to vote for guys and get guys the opportunity to play in the All-Star Game is wonderful."
You can cast your votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 28.
A tweet doesn't actually count as a vote, but it is a great way to get others to vote for the players you want. The global hashtag for the event is #ASG and all tweets using that will show up on the MLB page. In addition, each club has its own Tweet the Vote page and shows not only the primary club hashtag but also the specific ones to use for each of that's club's players on the ballot. So in the Phillies' case, for example, their fans would find nine hashtags including #votephillies and #votevictorino. Tweets using any of those nine would show up on that Phillies tweet feed.
"It's very interesting to see people interact and communicate and to be able to express their emotions via Twitter and social media," said Victorino, who has more than 120,000 followers on his @ShaneVictorino account. "It has been great to experience that in the past. You look at all the number of votes that come in every year, via fan voting. That shows what social media and all these things are all about. Tweet the Vote is great."
The overall All-Star balloting program, the largest in professional sports, is about to move into hyperdrive mode, especially with the first balloting updates coming soon.
As you submit each ballot, you also get to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll, which lets you select three players in each league who you would most like to see participate in the big slugfest the night before the All-Star Game.
The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.
The AL and NL All-Star rosters will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Then comes the Final Vote, which last year sent not only Victorino but also White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko to Phoenix. Victorino amassed 9.2 million votes along the way last year, having also won with Brandon Inge in 2009.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
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. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.