Congratulations to Longoria and Hart

Tampa Bay Rays rookie third baseman Evan Longoria and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart were chosen by fans as the winners of the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote in record-shattering voting exclusively on MLB.com, joining as 32nd men for the 79th All-Star Game on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. The announcement was just made in the last five minutes on MLB.com.

Baseball fans supported the 10 candidates named by All-Star managers Terry Francona and Clint Hurdle in unprecedented fashion by casting a record 47.8 million votes since the program commenced on Sunday, July 6 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT). This year’s record number of votes represents an increase of 107 percent from the previous mark of 23.1 million set in 2007. Since its inception in 2002, the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote has now recorded nearly 130 million votes.

The American League winner, Longoria, received the highest total number of votes ever and led all vote-getters with nine million en route to becoming the second consecutive rookie to win the balloting, following Boston’s Hideki Okajima last year. He was followed by Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox; Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees; Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles; and Jose Guillen of the Kansas City Royals.

On the National League ballot, Hart became the second Milwaukee player to win the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote by holding off a late charge from David Wright of the New York Mets to claim the final spot on the National League All-Star roster with a final tally of eight million votes. Hart and Wright were followed by Pat Burrell of the Philadelphia Phillies; Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants; and Carlos Lee of the Houston Astros.

Previous winners of the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote include: Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002). More >

Thank you for voting, and voting, and voting

It’s over.

Thank you for voting! You can relax a little bit now.

The Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote began at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday and balloting concluded at 5 p.m. today. What a week. There will be more than twice as many total votes as last year announced when the winners are revealed.

Those two winning nominees in the American and National League will be announced anytime now on MLB.com.

Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 79th All-Star Game through the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The Final Hour – don’t stop voting

It’s 4:16 p.m. ET at this writing, and the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote balloting ends at the top of the hour. Who will it be? Last chance to keep clicking by computer or sending in your mobile vote. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

At 10 a.m. today, MLB.com announced the the orders of player standings were unchanged but that it had evolved into a two-man race in each league at that point. Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay was narrowly leading Jermaine Dye of the White Sox, while Corey Hart of Milwaukee was still holding off David Wright of the Mets.

Keep voting!

Thursday schedule; predict the record total

The next Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote update tentatively is scheduled for around 10 a.m. ET on Thursday at MLB.com. Here are the leaders in the latest update.

The ballot closes at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. A winner from each league will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter, bringing to 32 the total number of filled roster spots for the American and National Leagues.

It’s going to be an incredible Thursday in Major League Baseball. What is your prediction for the final record vote total? You surpassed last year’s four-day record total of 23.2 million HALFWAY through this year’s Final Vote. It was more than 33 million after the last update at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Leave your predictions here as comments.

Keep voting and stay tuned.

Final 24 hours: Tight races, record voting

With more than 33 million votes cast, and everything from fake mustaches to candy hearts to club alliances and fan pacts becoming all the rage, the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote approached the final 24 hours Wednesday, and there was no change in the latest nominee standings. However, wild three-way races are emerging in both leagues.

As of 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria continued to hold off the charges of his closest two competitors in the American League, Jermaine Dye of the White Sox and Jason Giambi of the Yankees, as each had totaled more than 3.75 million votes. Brian Roberts of the Orioles and Jose Guillen of the Royals round out the current standings in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

On the National League side, Brewers outfielder Corey Hart remained atop the standings despite significant challenges from David Wright of the Mets and Pat Burrell of the Phillies. The top three candidates, who have each accumulated nearly 4 million votes, are followed by Aaron Rowand of the Giants and Carlos Lee of the Astros. More >

Grab the Final Vote Widget

There are 24 hours left. Do you have this new Final Vote Widget on your own social media pages? If you have a free MLBlog here, just drop the Embed code into your text entry, using the Edit HTML icon on the right of your toolbar. Or just click a logo for one of the social networks included on the widget. You all know the ropes. It’s 2008.

http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/486957c54c88e2fc/487527445abe67e0/48726e5ad9c2997a/5a658785

Brewers wearing their Hart on their field

Note the candy “Hart” behind home plate…

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An update from the Burrell campaign

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White Sox lobby-ists

Is it a political campaign office? No. It’s the lobby of the Chicago White Sox headquarters at U.S. Cellular Field. It’s hard to tell if Jermaine Dye is running down baseballs or running for office, but that is typical of the scene for 10 campaigns in the Final Vote. Let us know about any Final Vote campaign pic you might be posting.

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Time for some serious campaigning

In Milwaukee, Ryan Braun and the Racing Sausages are making surprise visits to TGI Fridays and the Milkwaukee Airport terminal on Wednesday to greet people with “Hart-shaped” candies and “Vote Hart” cards — in support of Corey Hart.

In Philadelphia, the “Go to Bat for Pat” campaign heated up with an endurance contest between fans to outvote each other at Citizens Bank Park.

In Chicago and San Francisco, an outfielder alliance was announced so that the White Sox are endorsing former home-teamer Aaron Rowand of the Giants while the Giants are repaying that public support by endorsing Chicago’s Jermaine Dye. So far a lot of fans are voting a Dye-Rowand ticket.

And that kind of thing is going on everywhere there are 10 Final Vote candidates for the All-Star Game. Yes, it’s that time of year. Grassroots campaigning is getting serious. More >

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