PHOENIX -- D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill might not have the same name recognition as some of the other players in the National League Final Vote competition, but with the help of his club and past baseball stops, the 30-year-old is appealing to a wide international market he hopes will send him to Kansas City.
Hill, a candidate in the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Firestone, is competing against Michael Bourn (Braves), David Freese (Cardinals), Bryce Harper (Nationals) and Chipper Jones (Braves).
The D-backs reached out to Hill's college, Louisiana State, to try to attract votes from the southeastern portion of the United States and his previous team, the Blue Jays, to garner support from Canadian fans.
The team also announced on Monday that it is partnering with the Rangers in an effort to help Hill and Texas pitcher Yu Darvish win in each league. Darvish, in his first season since relocating from Japan, will likely attract a large portion of the international vote and the D-backs are thinking Hill can piggyback in the Asian markets.
"We're encouraging all our fans who are voting for Aaron to also cast a vote for Yu Darvish and we hope the Rangers fans will do the same for Hill," said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. "Aaron was so popular in Canada during his time with the Blue Jays, we're also hopeful that our Canadian fans will vote for Darvish, while the great baseball fans in Japan will hopefully see how deserving Aaron is of their vote."
In addition to persuading other markets to vote for Hill, the D-backs will promote their candidate at home by wearing custom t-shirts during batting practice on Tuesday, with the All-Star logo and Hill's Twitter hashtag printed on them.
Fans at Chase Field will have the opportunity to cast votes for Hill during games this week at a table in the main concourse with computers open for use.
Final Vote candidates
|P||Jonathan Broxton, KC|
|P||Yu Darvish, TEX|
|P||Ernesto Frieri, LAA|
|P||Jason Hammel, BAL|
|P||Jake Peavy, CWS|
|OF||Michael Bourn, ATL|
|3B||David Freese, STL|
|OF||Bryce Harper, WAS|
|2B||Aaron Hill, ARI|
Now in its 11th year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday, July 5, at 1 p.m. PT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
To receive the 2012 All-Star GameMLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Hill, simply text message N4 to 89269. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Std rates may apply.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet, via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The 83rd Major League Baseball 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. Pregame ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 6-20. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Entering Monday's game with the Padres, Hill was batting .300 on the season with 11 homers and 38 RBIs.
"Obviously it's great to be recognized, but we'll see what happens," Hill said. "It's something you never forget, you cherish it, because you don't know if you'll get a chance again."
The highlight of Hill's 2012 campaign so far happened over the course of 11 days when he hit for the cycle twice. It marked the first time a player had hit two cycles in the same year since Babe Herman in 1931. The only other two times it had happened were in the 1800s.
The accomplishment was not enough to get Hill on the initial NL roster for the July 10 Midsummer Classic in Kansas City (5 p.m. MST, FOX), but a third cycle this week during the voting would certainly make a statement.
"Who knows man?" Hill said about the possibility of another cycle. "It's been crazy the last couple weeks, I don't know how or why it happened, but if it wants to come back again, I'll welcome it."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.