Online Voting Allows for Informed Selections in MLB All-Star Game

The Major League Baseball All-Star game is just around the corner, with voting ending today for the July 12 event, so as they used to say in Chicago, vote early and vote often! The game will be broadcast on FOX and is being played at Chase Field in Phoenix.

It is interesting how the Internet and the online community has changed the way in which people vote and actually provides them with the ability to make better informed selections, if they are so inclined and they can influence the MVP vote as well.

The baseball All-Star game has always held an interesting position, especially in my early sporting life [editor’s note: does that include the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig years?]. Going to ball games we always sought out the ushers who were the guardians of the ballot to see how many we could nab. After being given the once over by the usher at the top of our section the person would reluctantly hand a few of the paper ballots to use, no doubt convinced that none of them would ever get used.

We would diligently vote, disappointed that you could not easily punch out multiple ballets at once. We all had different strategies. I voted for the best in both leagues, at least initially. One of my friends would only vote for players on his favorite team and for the other league he voted for the players that we perceived were the worst at their position, with all of us arguing as to which ones they were. After a few full ballots we would inevitably drop the rest around our seats as we lost interest, no doubt confirming the ushers’ opinion of us.

On-line voting has changed all that. While there have been some hiccups over the years, including rumored ballot stuffing, it is not only easier, but MLB has taken steps so that you can make values judgments. Voting for NL players and you only follow the AL? All you need to do is select multiple players, say DeWitt from the Cubs and Emaus from the Mets and you can see which second baseman has the better stats in a number of different categories. Just click on “Compare Stats” and a menu scrolls down showing a number of counting stats including Avg., runs, home runs and runs batted in. If none of the choices appeal to you there is space to add write-ins at the bottom of the ballot. Fans vote for the starting lineup, minus pitchers, and then after the Manager fills out the rest of the positions, an Internet vote is taken for the last man on each squad.

You can vote 25 times, which while significantly lower than that which I witnessed by a group of A’s fans who had built boards with needles built-in to punch out entire ballots and were doing dozens at a time, that seems like plenty to me. If you use your phone I am sure you can double your votes. Fans will not just have a say regarding who is on the team but can also vote for the r choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint. (Nice that they get two sponsors for one award)

I imagine traditions still die slowly and fans of rival teams will have a difficult time voting for players from teams they dislike getting on the team and for the MVP award, and I thin that is just the way that it should be.


  1. I remember going to Shea Stadium in the early 90s when we all worked for our beloved CMP on Long Island and saw a bunch of locals with plywood boards that had nails strategially hammered to allow them to easily punch out entire stacks of ballots with votes for an all-Met lineup.

    I also remember going to a game in Atlanta before they built Turner Field (remember Fulton County Stadium?) and watching some local “fans” carry away an entire All-Star ballot box as they left the stadium. So yeah, maybe online is a better way to go.

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