A concerted radio, television, and social media campaign has successfully sent Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders to the American League team in the MLB All-Star Game next Tuesday in San Diego. Saunders received 17.7 million votes to secure the electoral victory over George Springer (who finished in second place), Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, and Evan Longoria.
#FinalVote winners Michael Saunders and Brandon Belt are headed to the #ASG – thanks to your votes. pic.twitter.com/fqLIyFTlDd— MLB (@MLB) July 8, 2016
In comparison, Brandon Belt, who won the National League vote, was selected on just 10.4 million ballots.
The Victoria, British Columbia native Saunders, whose campaign used the hashtag #VoteCaptainCanada, captured over 98.6% of the Canadian vote, a vote share that would make any dictator proud.
In the United States, he also captured most of the counties in Washington state (he played six seasons with the Seattle Mariners) and in the counties near Buffalo, where the Blue Jays' triple-A affiliate is located.
According to MLB, Saunders had "more than 15 million votes" by 10 am Friday morning, meaning he captured around 2.5 million votes in the final six hours of voting. Saunders will be joining Blue Jays teammates Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and Marco Estrada at the 2016 Midsummer Classic.
Saunders, 29, is batting .298/.372/.559 with 16 homers and 25 doubles in 79 games. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2016 season.