This week brought the stretch run of a frenetic race involving 10 worthy candidates and only two spots. The winners will head to the All-Star Game, chosen by the fans, who have taken to the voting process in unprecedented ways, dominating social media with proclamations as to why their guy should be in New York on Tuesday.
Now, we wait for the results. At 4 p.m. ET today, ballots closed for the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote, sponsored by freecreditscore.com.
For six hours, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. ET, fans also were able to vote on Twitter. Any tweet that included a designated player hashtag was tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for news of the winners when it breaks.
So fans voting for Freddie Freeman included #VoteFreddie. For Yasiel Puig, #votepuig was used. And the rest:
Hunter Pence: #VotePence; Adrian Gonzalez: #VoteTitan; Ian Desmond: #VoteDesiIn13; David Robertson: #HighSocksForVotes; Koji Uehara: #HighFiveCiti; Tanner Scheppers: #TakeTanner; Joaquin Benoit: #backbenoit; Steve Delabar: #RaiseTheBar.
The latest update, released Thursday morning, showed Delabar and Freeman maintaining their leads in the AL and NL, respectively. Yankees righty David Robertson was in second place in the AL, followed by Boston's Koji Uehara, Detroit's Joaquin Benoit and the Rangers' Tanner Scheppers.
In the NL, Dodgers phenom Puig maintained control of second place, where he stood all week, followed by Hunter Pence (Giants), Ian Desmond (Nationals) and Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers).
If Puig wins the voting in the NL, he will be the first player in history to appear on an All-Star roster having played in fewer than 40 Major League games. Assuming he plays in all three remaining contests leading up to the break, he'll have appeared in 38 games for the Dodgers. In a listing in the Wall Street Journal that cites Stats LLC for the information, Frankie Zak holds the record for playing the fewest career games before a first All-Star selection. Zak played in 44 games for the Pirates in 1944.
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 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 84th 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 SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.