Donaldson leading at third, top vote-getter
TORONTO -- Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has taken over as the top vote-getter in all of Major League Baseball for next month's All-Star Game.
Donaldson collected 2.7 million votes last week to surpass Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals.
"I don't play for All-Star Games, I don't play for a lot of the individual attention," Donaldson said on Monday ahead of a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox. "I play out here to compete and to help my team win games.
"I think, ultimately, if you're successful at that, at the end of the day, you get recognition -- and that's really where my heart is at and will continue to be."
Donaldson, who started in the 2014 All-Star Game while with the A's, has received 11,738,206 total votes.
The 29-year-old is looking to become the first Blue Jays third baseman and fourth Toronto infielder to be voted in by the fans joining Roberto Alomar (1991-94), John Olerud ('93) and Carlos Delgado (2003).
"I started [last year] and it was really neat, and then for it to be Derek Jeter's last All-Star Game, to participate in and be on the left side of the infield with him, it was a moment I'll never forget," Donaldson said. "To be a starter, what that symbolizes is that you're the best guy at that position. I think it's very humbling and it's an honor."
Donaldson's vote total is currently the most in a single-season in history, passing Josh Hamilton's 2012 all-time single-season record of 11,073,744 votes.
In his first season with the Blue Jays, Donaldson is tied for the Major League lead with 58 runs scored while hitting .301 with 18 home runs, 18 doubles and 48 RBIs. He also leads the AL with 163 total bases, is tied for second with 28 multihit games and ranks third with 36 extra-base hits.
Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak (2,463,708), catcher Russell Martin (6,405,822), second baseman Devon Travis (2,910,668), shortstop Jose Reyes (4,800,710), designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (4,261,040) and outfielder Jose Bautista (7,401,632) are amongst the top vote-getters.
"Well, it's well deserved. I mean, he's having that kind of year," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "I'd like to see Russell Martin and Bautista be in there, too. They both are very deserving. We'll see where it all goes. That's important to them. That's the way it should be."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.
Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.
The 2015 All-Star starters will be unveiled on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on the Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN. Then on Monday at 7 p.m., the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN, immediately after which fans can return to MLB.com to begin casting their 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Votes for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. Final Vote ends Friday, July 10, at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.