How well do you know Final Vote history?
Twenty questions that will test your knowledge of this annual ballot
Now that you have begun submitting unlimited ballot entries via the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, let's see how much you know about this rite of summer that returns for its 13th year. Here are 20 questions to test your own Final Vote knowledge, and feel free to try these out on those friends and colleagues who know it all.
Q. Who were the first two winners?
A. Andruw Jones of the Braves and Johnny Damon of the Red Sox in 2002.
Q. Fans were asked to "punch" this player in 2006. They did, and he won the American League Final Vote as a result. Who was he?
A. A.J. Pierzynski. While catching for the White Sox, he literally had taken a punch from Cubs catcher Michael Barrett during an Interleague game earlier that season, following a game-winning homer he had hit. So "Punch A.J." T-shirts and buttons were all the rage. "I thought it was awesome, and I know a lot of people want to do that," then-White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said at the time.
Q. This player was the only one to win a Final Vote and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Who was he?
A. Evan Longoria, who struck out to end the 13th inning of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium and went on to lead Tampa Bay to its first World Series appearance.
Q. Alliances between multiple clubs are now traditional during Final Week campaigning. Which two teams formed the first alliance in 2008, and how did a prior World Series play a role?
A. The White Sox supported one of their 2005 World Series championship club members, NL nominee Aaron Rowand of the Giants. The Giants agreed to do the same for Jermaine Dye. Neither player went to that All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, but the alliance concept was a winner.
Q. Who is the only two-time winner?
A. Shane Victorino, who won with the Phillies in 2009 and '11.
Q. The "Support the 'Stache" campaign got this candidate a lot of votes in 2008 -- even an endorsement from the American Mustache Institute -- but he still finished third. Who was this two-time Final Vote nominee?
A. Jason Giambi of the Yankees. He finished third that year behind Longoria and Dye, five years after finishing third behind Jason Varitek and Thomas in 2003.
Q. Who were the only two winners to subsequently face each other during that year's World Series?
A. Scott Podsednik of the White Sox and Roy Oswalt of the Astros in 2005. In Game 3, Podsednik went 2-for-8, including 1-for-4 against Oswalt. Chicago won that game, 7-5, in 14 innings amid a sweep. In 2014, you have a White Sox (Chris Sale) and Astros (Dallas Keuchel) candidate again, but this time they are in the same league.
Q. Japan has produced three different Final Vote winners. Name them.
A. Hideki Matsui of the Yankees in 2004, Hideki Okajima of the Red Sox in 2007, and Yu Darvish of the Rangers in 2012.
Q. On the current Final Vote ballot, each league has a candidate who played a key role in winning a previous All-Star Game. Who were they and what did they do?
A. Justin Morneau scored the winning run on Michael Young's sac fly in the 15th inning at Yankee Stadium in 2008. Sale was the AL's winning pitcher last year.
Q. The whole "grassroots campaign" element was introduced to the Final Vote when this player went on The Dan Patrick Show to tout his case for radio listeners. Who was he?
A. Brewers left fielder Geoff Jenkins in 2003. His club took the initiative to get him some airtime, also driving a major email campaign. It helped him rally to beat out Benito Santiago of the Giants, Kenny Lofton of the Pirates, Orlando Cabrera of the Expos and Luis Castillo of the Marlins.
Q. Which future Hall of Famer fell short in consecutive Final Vote appearances?
A. Frank Thomas of the White Sox, 2003-04. The Big Hurt still had five All-Star selections during his 19-year career and will be inducted in Cooperstown later this month.
Q. Who was the only winner to make the last out of that year's World Series?
A. Victorino, who grounded out to second on the 10th pitch he saw from Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in New York, ending the 2009 Fall Classic after six games.
Q. What is the only team yet to be represented in the Final Vote?
A. Seattle. You'll get your turn, Mariners fans.
Q. Who went from Final Vote winner to losing pitcher after allowing Ichiro Suzuki's leadoff homer at that year's All-Star Game?
A. Chris Young of San Diego. He had finished last in the 2006 Final Vote but beat out Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs for the 2007 roster addition.
Q. Which two winners rode a "Bran-Torino" campaign into the All-Star Game?
A. Brandon Inge of the Tigers and Victorino of the Phillies won the 2009 Final Vote, thanks in no small part to a catchphrase that became a campaign sensation. The "Bran-Torino" campaign urged companies in Michigan and Pennsylvania to give workers time off to vote for their candidates.
Q. Who was the only player to win a Final Vote after two failed tries?
A. Paul Konerko of the White Sox won in 2011. It was his fifth All-Star selection at the time, but he had come up empty in the Final Vote in 2004 (third) and 2010 (fourth).
Q. Jeremy Bonderman came up short in the 2007 AL Final Vote race after leading on the first day. But the then-Detroit pitcher still benefited mightily from a campaign theme centered around which longtime international-spy movie franchise?
A. The Tigers took out an ad in the Tuesday edition of the Detroit Free Press. It read: "FROM DETROIT WITH GLOVE -- BONDO '07". A bat and ball formed the shape of a pistol. Alas, as we approach next month's 50th anniversary of the death of Ian Fleming, one wonders if his spirit took offense to losing in his good name. In every subsequent odd-numbered year, an Ian has failed in the Final Vote: Kinsler in 2009, Kennedy in 2011 and Desmond in 2013.
Q. Whose 2009 campaign featured Uncle Sam telling people how to vote?
A.Pablo Sandoval. Vote Sandoval.
Q. This shortstop-turned-first baseman won the 2006 NL Final Vote and still holds the distinction of more prior All-Star selections (five) than any winner -- all with Boston.
A. Nomar Garciaparra.
Q. What do Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, Trevor Hoffman, Bryce Harper, Torii Hunter, Adrian Gonzalez, David Wright, Carlos Gonzalez, Jim Thome, Roy Halladay, Andre Ethier, Adam Jones, Ryan Zimmerman, Kinsler, Victor Martinez, Yasiel Puig, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Derek Jeter and Thomas all have in common?
A. They were Final Vote also-rans.