For the eighth time since 2002, a Chicago White Sox player is in the running for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game Final Vote, sponsored by Sprint, as first baseman Paul Konerko was one of five players selected for the American League ballot. The White Sox captain joins Boston's Kevin Youkilis, Minnesota's Delmon Young, New York’s Nick Swisher and Texas's Michael Young on the ballot. White Sox fans now have until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 8 to vote for Konerko at whitesox.com or mlb.com.
Konerko is hitting .297 this season and is among league leaders in home runs (2nd, 20) and RBI (5th, 57). Konerko looks to join teammate and first-time All-Star Matt Thornton at this year’s Midsummer Classic in Anaheim.
The White Sox are calling on all fans to “get out the vote” to send the team captain to this year’s All-Star Game. Fans who vote for Konerko on whitesox.com will have the opportunity to win two White Sox game tickets, an autographed Paul Konerko jersey and a pre-game on-field meet and greet with Konerko on Saturday, August 14 at U.S. Cellular Field.
In 2005, White Sox fans voted Scott Podsednik to the All-Star Game through the Final Vote ballot, and in 2006 A.J. Pierzynski was voted onto the A.L. team as the result of the team's successful “Punch A.J.” campaign. Most recently, outfielder Jermaine Dye made the AL Final Vote ballot in 2008.
The All-Star Game Final Vote program has seen nearly 200 million votes cast since its inception in 2002, including last year's record-setting total (68.6 million) when fans chose Brandon Inge from Detroit and Shane Victorino from Philadelphia.
Other previous winners of the All-Star Game Final Vote include: Evan Longoria (A.L., 2008) and Corey Hart (NL, 2008); Hideki Okajima (A.L., 2007) and Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (A.L., 2006) and Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (A.L., 2005) and Roy OswA.L.t (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (A.L., 2004) and Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (A.L., 2003) and Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (A.L., 2002) and and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
Balloting is now open at whitesox.com and mlb.com and continues until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 8. The winners will be announced on mlb.com shortly thereafter.