Pence third in NL Final Vote race entering final stretch
Giants outfielder within striking distance with Twitter voting under way
SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Pence made the National League All-Star team in 2009 and '11. The fans will determine whether Pence's luck in odd-numbered years will continue. Pence was chosen as one of five candidates for the Final Vote balloting that ends today.
At the final update on Thursday morning, Pence remained in third, behind the Braves' Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig. Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond is fourth, while Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez ranks fifth.
Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and ends at 1 p.m. PT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 7 a.m.-1 p.m. PT today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 1 p.m. PT balloting deadline.
To cast a vote for Pence, be sure to include #VotePence in your tweet.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Pence, simply text message N4 to 89269. In Canada, fans should text N4 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply. To vote for another player via text message, use the codes below.
A1 -- Joaquin Benoit, Detroit, #BackBenoit
A2 -- Steve Delabar, Toronto, #RaiseTheBar
A3 -- David Robertson, New York Yankees, #HighSocksForVotes
A4 -- Tanner Scheppers, Texas, #TakeTanner
A5 -- Koji Uehara, Boston, #HighFiveCiti
N1 -- Ian Desmond, Washington, #DesiIn13
N2 -- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta, #Vote Freddie
N3 -- Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles, #VoteTitan
N4 -- Hunter Pence, San Francisco, #VotePence
N5 -- Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles, #VotePuig
Where are votes coming from? Which candidate is carrying your local area? Which state will play a key role in determining the final player on each All-Star Game roster? Use MLB.com's new online Final Vote data visualization map to see the geographic distribution of all of the candidates' votes. Scroll over any county in the 50 United States to see the color-coded display to show the online vote share for each player.
Pence said that being a Final Vote nominee was "truly an honor." He added, "Whatever happens, I'm just grateful to get that kind of mention."
Pence knows that he's facing quality competition.
"You can make a case for all of them," he said. "You can make a case even for some guys who didn't get on this vote. I just feel very fortunate."
NL Candidates BY THE NUMBERS
Pence has sustained a solid all-around performance for the reigning World Series champions. He entered Saturday with a .272 batting average, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. But those figures only begin to illustrate Pence's productivity. He ranks among the NL leaders in extra-base hits, doubles and multiple-hit games.
Having worked diligently during the offseason to improve his speed, Pence has seized upon his enhanced mobility to steal 13 bases in as many tries, making him one of only four players in the Major Leagues with a perfect stolen-base percentage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 12-26. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.