As the First Round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic comes to a close, voting for the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team will begin online at WorldBaseballClassic.com/teamvote. For the first time, baseball fans from around the globe will be able to vote for the most outstanding players of the Classic. Fan voting begins tonight at 11:59 pm ET and continues through 11:59 pm ET on March 19.
Ken Griffey Jr., a 2006 All-World Baseball Classic Team member who hit .524 with 10 RBI and 3 HR in the inaugural tournament, is the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team Ambassador and is in Phoenix encouraging fans to vote. After taking a ride aboard the MetLife blimp, he attended today's game between the United States and Canada at Chase Field, where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
"One of the high points of my career was playing well for Team USA and being selected as a member of the 2006 All-World Team," said Ken Griffey Jr. "Being included on a squad with some of the best players in the world was an honor. It should be even more special for the members of this year's MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team with fans joining in the voting."
Votes can be cast for one player at each position and three pitchers. Fan voting counts for one-third of the total points awarded to each player, with the other two-thirds coming from international broadcast media and international sportswriters. The MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team will be announced following the Championship Game taking place on Tuesday, March 19 in San Francisco, CA.
The MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team will be comprised of the best performers at each position during the tournament. Players selected to the previous two teams have included two-time tournament M.V.P. Daisuke Matsuzaka (Pitcher, Japan - 2006 and 2009), Derek Jeter (Shortstop, USA - 2006), Adrian Beltre (Third baseman, Dominican Republic - 2006) and Hyun-Soo Kim (DH, Korea - 2009).
"The World Baseball Classic celebrates the game of baseball and the many talented players around the world," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "By incorporating fan voting into the selection of the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team, the global baseball community is able to lend its voice to honoring the great players of the tournament."
"Since the inaugural tournament in 2006, fans everywhere have embraced the World Baseball Classic and the outstanding performances of the world's greatest baseball players competing for international bragging rights. With this announcement, we're excited to honor and recognize the passion of the fans by giving them a voice in determining the 2013 World Baseball Classic's best of the best," stated Timothy Slavin, member of the World Baseball Classic board of directors.
"At MetLife, our sports sponsorships help enable fans to be part of the action and to bring them closer to the sport. Fan voting for the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team really gives them that opportunity," said Richard Hong, vice president of brand, advertising and promotion, MetLife.
MetLife is one of four Global Sponsors for the 2013 World Baseball Classic and is the Official Insurance Company of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. MetLife, and its brand ambassador Snoopy, have been incorporated into multiple aspects of the event including aerial coverage from the blimps that has been incorporated into the game broadcasts and Snoopy, donning a World Baseball Classic jersey, making special appearances, interacting with fans and distributing gifts throughout the venues.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, is the premier international baseball tournament featuring the world's best players representing their countries and territories. MLB Network and ESPN Deportes are the exclusive English and Spanish-language broadcasters in the United States and 39 international broadcasters will televise games in 14 languages in more than 200 countries and territories. The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World Champion.