Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote in record-shattering voting exclusively on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and the individual Club sites.
Baseball fans supported the 10 candidates named by All-Star managers Joe Maddon and Charlie Manuel in unprecedented fashion by casting a record 68.6 million votes since the program commenced on Sunday, July 5 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT). This yearâ€™s record number of votes represents an increase of 43.5 percent from the previous mark of 47.8 million set in 2008. Since its inception in 2002, the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote has now recorded nearly 200 million votes.
The National League winner, Victorino, received the highest total number of votes ever, surpassing Evan Longoriaâ€™s nine million in 2008, and led all vote-getters with 15.6 million en route to becoming the second Phillies player to win the balloting (Bobby Abreu, 2004). He was followed by Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cristian Guzman of the Washington Nationals.
On the American League ballot, Inge became the first Detroit player to win the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote by holding off Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers to claim the final spot on the All-Star roster with a final tally of 11.8 million votes, the most ever for an American League player. Inge and Kinsler were followed by Chone Figgins of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Adam Lind of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Previous winners of the All-Star Sprint Game Final Vote are: Evan Longoria (AL, 2008); Corey Hart (NL, 2008), Hideki Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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