Victorino locked in tight Final Vote race
Phils center fielder doing all he can to land All-Star spot
PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino has been everywhere since Sunday, trying to get people to vote for him for the final roster spot on the National League All-Star team in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote.
And he's close behind National League leader Pablo Sandoval of the Giants after the first 48 hours of voting.
The race is tight. Victorino took the lead from Sandoval on Monday night, but then Sandoval recaptured it on Tuesday. Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman trail Sandoval and Victorino.
Voting runs until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday at MLB.com. Balloting updates are expected daily. This eighth annual event allows fans to decide the 33rd and final roster spot for the American and National Leagues leading up to the 80th All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Fans also can vote again by mobile device -- exclusive in the U.S. to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555.
Victorino has been on TV and radio, nationally, in Philadelphia and in his native state of Hawaii.
He had Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White encourage fans to vote for him through Twitter. Victorino is a big UFC fan. He has had his father, Michael Victorino, who is a council member for Maui County, promote his son throughout the Hawaiian islands.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Victorino knocked on doors Monday in South Philadelphia.
"He was so energized," Victorino said. "I thought it was the greatest thing. He brought so much enthusiasm. I was loving it. It reminded me of walking around with my dad."
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle made a bet: if Pennsylvania has more votes for Victorino, Lingle will send eight cases of pineapples to Rendell. If Hawaii has more votes, Rendell will send cheesesteaks.
Victoriono's folks have contacted Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who is a native Philadelphian.
WIP-AM has teamed up with the Phillies. Three fans are voting non-stop at the ballpark for Victorino. The one who can vote the most will meet Victorino.
There are other events, too, which Victorino hopes pays off before voting ends Thursday.
But even if Victorino doesn't make the team through the Final Vote, he still has a chance to make the team. Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran, who was elected as a starter, is unlikely to play because of an injury.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.