PHOENIX -- Last season when D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy was in the Final Vote competition, the club was on the road for the duration of the voting process, a huge disadvantage for the team's ace.
This year, however, D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill is hoping to reap the benefits of playing at home with thousands of potential voters all in one place. The club wrapped up a three-game series with the Padres on Wednesday in front of a sold-out crowd, the second of the season at Chase Field.
"With close to 50,000 fans in house tonight, we're hopeful that we'll be able to make a late charge in the Final Vote," said Josh Rawitch, the D-backs senior vice president of communications.
Final Vote candidates
|P||Jonathan Broxton, KC|
|P||Yu Darvish, TEX|
|P||Ernesto Frieri, LAA|
|P||Jason Hammel, BAL|
|P||Jake Peavy, CWS|
|OF||Michael Bourn, ATL|
|3B||David Freese, STL|
|OF||Bryce Harper, WAS|
|2B||Aaron Hill, ARI|
The D-backs will hope to cash in on the Fourth of July postgame activities for which the majority of fans in attendance are expected to stay.
"Right after the game, as fans are waiting for fireworks, we are planning to ask everyone to take out their cellphone and text N4 several times to 89269," Rawitch said. "Perhaps we can pick up a few hundred-thousand votes right there on the spot."
In addition to asking the home fans, Hill has been on a media tour promoting his candidacy. He will be a guest on Jim Rome's radio program Thursday morning.
Hill, a candidate in the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Firestone, is competing against Michael Bourn (Braves), David Freese (Cardinals) and Bryce Harper (Nationals).
Now in its 11th year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday at 1 p.m. MST. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Hill, simply text message N4 to 89269. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.
Fans also will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet, via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The 83rd Major League Baseball 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. Pregame ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. 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 6-20. 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 on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Entering Wednesday's game, Hill was batting .301 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs. All of those numbers rank second amongst his four competitors. The second baseman's on-base percentage, .359, is the highest.
Hill, who became just the second player in the last century to record two cycles in one season this year, leads all NL second basemen in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, triples and home runs.
The cleats Hill wore during both cycles were donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.