07/09/09 7:46 PM ET
Victorino victorious in Final Vote
Thanks to fans, Phils outfielder a St. Louis-bound All-Star
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
But Victorino had a little more hop in his step Thursday when he learned he had won the National League's Final Vote completion, which put him on the National League All-Star team. He will join teammates Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard on Tuesday at the All-Star Game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
"I was surprised a little, but I knew this was an opportunity for me to really see and understand what it's really like to be a Phillie," Victorino said. "It really showed by what has happened. I'm very appreciative."
Victorino picked up a Final Vote record 15.6 million votes. He finished ahead of Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who traded the top spot with Victorino throughout the week. Both finished well ahead of D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp and Nationals shortstop Crisitian Guzman.
"To be the guy that comes out of the pack is an honor," Victorino said. "Again, playing in a city like Philly and coming up with a championship in a city that's hungry shows us again what Phillies fans are about."
Victorino had a big week to win. He campaigned throughout Philadelphia, even knocking on doors with Mayor Michael Nutter in South Philadelphia. He appeared on local and national TV and radio. He appeared in commercials. The Phillies promoted him heavily throughout the ballpark, including having ballgirls wear Hawaiian shirts.
Governors Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) and Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii) entered into a friendly wager to see which state can produce more support for the 28-year-old. If Pennsylvania has more votes for Victorino, Lingle will send eight cases of pineapples to Rendell. If Hawaii has more votes, Rendell will send cheesesteaks.
Victorino also had his father, a council member for Maui County, promote him throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and the Phillies had the Cira Centre building lit with Victorino's No. 8.
The Phillies teamed up with the Tigers to get Victorino and Brandon Inge selected. The teams called it "Bran-Torino," based off Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino." Inge won the American League Final Vote.
But not only did Victorino campaign, he also went 4-for-5 with five runs scored in a 22-1 victory over the Reds on Monday and had a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 3-2 victory Wednesday.
Victorino is hitting .308 with 22 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 40 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and 61 runs scored.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday in St. Louis will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
"I give credit to the fans," said Victorino, who became the fourth All-Star from Hawaii, joining former pitchers Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Charlie Hough. "That's where my thanks and praise goes to. So I give my praise to them and thank them for that."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.