(AFP) – Jul 5, 2012
NEW YORK — Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese were added to next weeks' Major League Baseball All-Star game on Thursday as a result of fan balloting.
The annual on-line Final Vote campaign allows fans to decide upon the last roster selection for the National and American League All-Star teams, who will meet in the 83rd annual mid-season classic next Tuesday at Kansas City.
Darvish, a 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, led from start to finish to join the American League squad, which will be guided by Rangers manager Ron Washington. Darvish will become the eighth Texas player on the AL roster.
Freese will be reunited with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who will come out of retirement to manage the National League All-Stars after guiding St. Louis over Texas in last year's World Series championship final.
Darvish followed Hideki Matsui in 2004 and Hideki Okajima in 2007 as Japanese players voted into the All-Star Game in the Final Vote.
About 46 million votes were cast, a record.
Darvish will skip his final scheduled start for the Rangers on Friday ahead of the All-Star Game.
The former Nippon Ham Fighters star, a five-time Japan League All-Star, signed a six-year deal worth $56 million with Texas before the season after the Rangers spent $51.7 million simply for the rights to negotiate a deal with him.
Darvish is 10-5 with a 3.59 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts over 102 innings in 16 starts for the Rangers this season. He is on pace to become the first rookie 20-game winner in the major leagues since Tom Browning in 1985.
Darvish will be the ninth Japanese player selected for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
The first Japanese player selected to play in the game, and the only other Japanese starting pitcher to be chosen, was Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Hideo Nomo in 1995,
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