It's a Windy City sweep: Sale, Rizzo win Final Vote
White Sox lefty, Cubs first baseman get the last roster spots for the All-Star Game
White Sox ace Chris Sale and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made Chicago proud on Thursday with a Windy City sweep, winning the 13th annual All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian after 92 hours of relentless fan balloting.
Both players have been added to the 34th and final roster spots for the 85th Midsummer Classic on Tuesday at Target Field. The game will be televised on FOX and MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream it via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers.
Sale was one of five pitchers nominated on the American League ballot and led the whole way for his third All-Star selection. He beat out Garrett Richards of the Angels, Rick Porcello of the Tigers, Corey Kluber of the Indians and Dallas Keuchel of the Astros. Sale received 6.7 million votes.
"I thought that was pretty cool. I think that's something special for the city and for Chicago sports," Sale said. "Obviously, I have to show my appreciation to the friends and family and the fans that voted. This is because of them."
Rizzo overtook Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau on Wednesday night after homering for the third time in as many days, and held on in a tight National League race for his first trip to a Midsummer Classic. Those two finished ahead of Braves outfielder Justin Upton, Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon and Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee. Rizzo received 8.8 million votes.
"It's awesome," Rizzo said after the Cubs' 6-4 victory at Cincinnati in 12 innings. "It's great to get that win, too. I'm very, very happy."
Over the final six hours of voting, tweets using the designated hashtag of any candidate were counted as part of his final vote tally. Tens of millions of votes poured in on the final day of a competition that began on Sunday, when All-Star managers John Farrell of the AL and Mike Matheny of the NL presented fans with five choices per league.
The top two leading Twitter vote-getters were #VoteJUp and #VoteGRich, followed by #VoteKluber, #VoteMorneau and #VoteRizzo in the top five. All of the leading contenders had their hashtags trending in the U.S., worldwide and in their respective local markets, ultimately leading to 52.5 million votes cast.
Sale (8-1, 2.08 ERA, 0.84 WHIP), the winning pitcher of last year's All-Star Game with two innings of scoreless relief, joins White Sox teammates Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez as All-Stars. Sale becomes the fourth White Sox player to win the Final Vote, the most of any team. The #TargetSale campaign was the club's fourth successful bid within a 10-year span, following Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski ('06) and Paul Konerko ('11).
Rizzo entered Thursday with 20 homers, one behind NL leader Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, becoming the first Cub to win a Final Vote. Aramis Ramirez finished second to Bobby Abreu of the Phillies in 2004 and Carlos Zambrano finished second to Chris Young of the Padres in 2007. Rizzo will join shortstop Starlin Castro as the Cubs' representatives on Tuesday.
MLB.com is providing a unique analysis of how a specific region in the United States voted for the 10 candidates. Scroll over any county to see a color-coded display showing the online vote share for each player. Click here or visit MLB.com to access the data visualization map.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow you to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to watch the game on any of the more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week Festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. More information is available at allstargame.com.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. Carrie Muskat and Scott Merkin contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.