Buster Posey will be in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. So will Johnny Cueto. Madison Bumgarner won’t be playing in it because he’s starting Sunday for the San Francisco Giants, and thus won’t be available to pitch two days later. But don’t worry Giants people: you’ll still have three of your hometown favorites in the game, thanks to a fan vote that selected Brandon Belt as the final National League all-star.
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The result of the vote was announced this afternoon, with Belt edging out Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte and three other strong candidates.
Voting for the final all-stars in each league is a bit gimmicky, but it’s a fun whirlwind of a process that sees teammates and fans rally around their candidates through spirited get-out-the-vote campaigns. Campaigning for Belt included a video Hunter Pence posted of himself calling on Giants fans to vote for their guy. Appropriately, Pence carried several belts over his shoulder as he made the pitch.
The belts weren’t quite as cute as the little lamb Diamondbacks players brought into their clubhouse to help promote Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb for that for final all-star spot. But it also wasn’t nearly as cliché as anything that could have been said to solicit votes for Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (e.g. #storytime).
Along with beating out these two divisional rivals, Belt was also chosen over a possible future teammate, Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger who’s rumored to be near the top of the Giants’ trade wish list.
Belt appeared on the MLB Network Friday afternoon to discuss his selection. Though he isn’t much into he self-promotion, he gave a nod to the Giants organization for doing a great job promoting him for the final all-star spot, and he acknowledged the fans who “voted until their thumbs fell off.” (People were each allowed to cast up to 35 votes, which is pretty silly, but whatever…)
“I just want to enjoy it as much as I can,” Belt told the MLB Network crew. “It’s something that will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Well, let’s hope not. Giants fans would like this to be the first of many all-star selections for their first baseman.