POSTED: 12:14 p.m. HST, Jul 07, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 08:45 p.m. HST, Jul 07, 2011
Maui’s Shane Victorino was the top vote-getter and is on the National League roster for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game with 9.2 million votes, according to MLB.com.
Victorino, a Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, is the first two-time winner in the "final vote" in which fans get to vote online for the last roster spot for both the American and National leagues. He also was elected in 2009, when he received a record 15.9 million votes.
“The past few days have been incredible,” Victorino said in a statement from the team. “To take the lead from day one shows how supportive the fans have been from the start of the campaign. Just to be on the ballot was exciting, but to be the first player to be selected by the fans twice is such a tremendous honor. The fans in Philadelphia and Hawaii as well as my offseason home in Las Vegas are so loyal to me — that’s what means more than anything.”
Paul Korneko of the Chicago White Sox won the American League spot.
Victorino joins manager Bruce Bochy's National League roster after beating out Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, Nationals left fielder Michael Morse and Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy.
Victorino got in despite not playing this week because of an injury. He sprained a thumb on Sunday and it will be evaluated on Friday. Should Victorino be placed on the disabled list, his roster spot will have to be replaced.
Victorino leads the Phillies in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), and slugging percentage (.524).
Konerko, the White Sox first baseman, received 8.4 million votes and finally won the fan vote after coming up short in the 2004 and last year’s voting campaigns. He joins AL manager Ron Washington's team, beating out division rival Victor Martinez of the Tigers. Behind them in the final ballot standings were Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist.
“Usually as a player, you’ve got people coming out of the woodwork as you go through the season always wanting something,” Konerko said. “This was kind of cool because I had a bunch of people come out of the woodwork but telling me they’re voting for me, doing me a favor.
“That’s kind of neat, people coming out and telling me that they told their whole church to vote for me. Everybody’s got their own story.”
Konerko and Victorino got loads of help from their teams, with the Phillies and White Sox each launching marketing campaigns designed to get their player into the game. The White Sox teamed with the Dodgers to drum up support for their candidates, and the Phillies did the same with the Tigers.
Victorino also received some high-profile help from buddy UFC President Dana White and Shaquille O’Neal, who each posted messages of support on their Twitter accounts.
“Mahalo to everyone for making my trip to Arizona possible,” Victorino said.
Star-Advertiser news services contributed to this story.