CHICAGO -- The #TakeJake campaign to send Jake Peavy to the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City has jumped out to a strong start.
In the first round of results from the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone, Peavy sits second by Texas' Yu Darvish in the American League. The total of 19.1 million online votes cast for the 10 candidates across the Final Vote competition was 13.7 percent higher than last year through 42 hours. Nine of the 10 candidates already have surpassed one million votes.
Baltimore's Jason Hammel checks in at third behind Darvish and Peavy on the AL side, followed by Ernesto Frieri of the Angels and the Royals' Jonathan Broxton. In the National League race, Chipper Jones leads the way, followed by David Freese, Bryce Harper, Aaron Hill and Michael Bourn.
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 Peavy, simply text message A5 to 89269. Mobile voting in Canada also is available, and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.
There will be an extra treat for fans as a thanks for participating in the Final Vote. If you are not a current subscriber to MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium, you will be offered the opportunity to receive a free trial of up to 14 days of 2012 MLB.TV from Friday through July 20. If you are a current subscriber, you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all eligible Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Balloting will be progressively intense, social media and hashtagging will be key, and you will get updates right here every day along the way, and remember to pay attention on the Fourth of July. Be sure to include #FinalVote with your tweets.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 83rd 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 Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.
Peavy is tied for first in the AL with four complete games and ranks second in innings pitched (112 2/3), fifth in average against (.215) and sixth in strikeouts (101) and ERA (2.96). The White Sox immediately started their #TakeJake campaign in motion Sunday, with videos from All-Stars Paul Konerko and Chris Sale asking fans to vote for their teammate.
There also was a political-style ad released by the White Sox on Monday, asking for Peavy support, with the video approved by Peavy at the end of the message. Everyone from Charlie Sheen to the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp has encouraged fans to get out the vote for the right-hander through Twitter.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.