LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig didn't win the National League All-Star Game Final Vote, but the Dodgers outfielder was thankful for the support he received from fans in a record-setting turnout.
"It's not what I expected for the team and the city, but you just have to keep on playing," said Puig, hitting .394 with eight doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 19 RBIs, five stolen bases and 27 runs scored in 35 games since making his Major League debut June 3.
Puig was active on social media on Thursday during the final hours of voting, and left a message for fans on his Twitter page after the voting window ended:
"Muchas gracias de todo corazon. Thank you from bottom my heart. Quiero agradecer a la mejor fanaticada del mundo. Thanks best fans in world!"
Muchas gracias de todo corazon. Thank you from bottom my heart. Quiero agradecer a la mejor fanaticada del mundo. Thanks best fans in world!- yasielpuig (@YasielPuig) July 11, 2013
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was also on the Final Vote ballot, but he pledged his support for Puig from the beginning and finished fifth. Still, Gonzalez said he enjoyed the Final Vote process.
"The support was great, everybody that rallied behind the team was incredible," said Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star. "It was fun. It gets the fans involved."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Puig wasn't upset with the results.
"The fans voted and he didn't win," Mattingly said. "It's hard to take anything away from Freddie, he's had a good year."
Voting concluded with a six-hour Twitter vote on Thursday as tweets with a player's designated hashtag counted in his overall total. The program drew an average of more than 4,200 tweets per minute, highlighted by a peak of 24,660 at 3:59 p.m. ET, accounting for 13 percent of the total votes cast during the six-hour window.
The leading Twitter vote-getter was #VoteFreddie (Freeman), followed by #VotePuig (Puig), #HighSocksForVotes (Robertson), #RaiseTheBar (Delabar) and #HighFiveCiti (Uehara) in the top five. All of the leading contenders had their hashtags trending in the U.S., worldwide and in their respective local markets.
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 2013 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 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th 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 SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mattingly said he envisions plenty of All-Star appearances for Puig in the following years.
"If he continues to do what he's been doing over a full year or season, then we're going to see a lot of Yasiel," the manager said. "I think that's the thing that should be remembered: If you're going to be an All-Star then you're going to be able to continue to do it. How good you are is measured over time."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less