Fans making big push for Burrell
Left fielder getting 'unbelievable' support in Final Vote balloting
PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Burrell was at a diner Wednesday when he saw five Phillies fans carrying "Vote for Pat" signs. The left fielder has also seen the billboards and the T-shirts with the same slogan.It's all part of campaign to get Burrell into his first All-Star Game.
"It's unbelievable," Burrell said.As of Wednesday afternoon, Burrell and the Mets' David Wright were closely trailing Milwaukee's Corey Hart in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote. The Giants' Aaron Rowand and the Astros' Carlos Lee are also in the running. Phillies fans have until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday to vote Burrell into his first All Star Game. He didn't make the NL squad that was announced Sunday afternoon, but has a second chance as one of five finalists for the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote. Burrell is getting plenty of support from four Phillies fans who have been working since noon Tuesday to cast as many votes as possible. The four -- Nick Ferraro of Lancaster, Monica Horwedel of Conshohocken, Jason Schatz of Willow Grove and Todd Smith of Oreland -- were picked by sports talk radio station WIP to hold vigil at a table outside the upper level of Harry the K's at Citizens Bank Park, using their laptops to repeatedly vote for Burrell. Late Wednesday afternoon, the four showed no signs of slowing down. Horwedel estimated that they had collectively cast about 50,000 votes for the Phillies' left fielder. The group is hoping to cast more than 100,000 votes for Burrell. "We still have a whole day," Horwedel said. Whichever one of them stays awake the longest and votes the most will receive a jersey personally autographed by Burrell and will attend a Phillies game with 15 friends in Burrell's suite. Burrell smiled in amazement when discussing the four fans' efforts. "They're really going out of their way," he said. In its seventh year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans the chance to select the final player on each squad. The winners will be announced on MLB.com. Fans can vote in two ways -- online now at MLB.com or from their cell phones. Fans also can text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, reply with your choice. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 88555. The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will take place at Yankee Stadium on July 15 and be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. Burrell said he doesn't have computer, so the left fielder hasn't been able to cast a vote yet. Still, his teammates have been happy to campaign on his behalf. "His numbers speak for themselves," second baseman Chase Utley said. "And he's my buddy."
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.