The last Final Vote ballots have been counted, and they all add up to one thing — Nick Swisher is an American League All-Star for the first time in his career.
Here’s the official press release:
Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees and Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint in online balloting voting exclusively on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and the individual Club sites.
On the American League ballot, Swisher held off Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox in the closest race in the nine-year history of the All-Star Final Vote to claim the final spot on the All-Star roster with a final tally of 9.8 million votes. Swisher and Youkilis were followed by Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox; Michael Young of the Texas Rangers; and Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins.
The National League winner, Votto, led all vote-getters with 13.7 million en route to becoming the first Reds player to win the All-Star Final Vote. He was followed by Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals; Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies; and Billy Wagner of the Atlanta Braves. San Diego Padres pitcher Heath Bell was removed from the NL ballot after he was named to the All-Star Team as a replacement for Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Baseball fans and Clubs alike feverishly supported the 10 candidates named by All-Star managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel during the four days of balloting, particularly through their use of MLB.com’s All-Star Campaign Manager program, in which nearly 150,000 fans participated and tallied points for their favorite players, and by forming joint alliances, such as Reds-Red Sox (1975 World Series), Nationals and Rangers (Third Base Ticket) and Rox and (White) Sox, ultimately leading to more than 52 million votes being cast.
Previous winners of the All-Star Game Final Vote were: Brandon Inge (AL, 2009), Shane Victorino (NL, 2009); 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).