NEW YORK -- Though he fell short of the vote total necessary to gain a spot on the National League's All-Star roster, Braves left fielder Justin Upton gladly accepted the consolation that came courtesy of the overwhelming support he received from fans and teammates as a candidate in MLB.com's Final Vote Sponsored by Experian.
There was a Chicago sweep as Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and White Sox left-hander Chris Sale were this year's Final Vote winners in their respective leagues. Though Rizzo garnered more total votes than any of the five NL candidates, Upton received the most votes on Twitter, which provided a voting option from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
"The last few days have been a blast," Upton said. "The support from the fan base and support all around has been awesome. I think we did a pretty good job. At the end of the day, I think everybody deserved to be there."
Thank you everyone. Give your thumbs a well deserved rest. Win or lose it was an amazing day. Thanks again for all the love. #VoteJUp- Justin Upton (@JUP_8TL) July 10, 2014
It was not surprising to see Braves fans make things interesting when the social media votes began to count on Thursday. They helped last year's Final Vote winner Freddie Freeman receive a record number of votes. And in 2012, they nearly made a winner out of former Braves center fielder Michael Bourn, who also fell short despite garnering the most votes on Twitter.
If Upton is not added to the NL roster as an injury replacement, he plans to spend the All-Star break unwinding and getting ready for the season's second half. He was named an All-Star in 2009 and '11.
"Being able to interact with everybody on Twitter and people asking for follows, I'm sure they had fun with it too," Upton said. "The whole experience was fun. At the end of the day, it's something I'll remember experiencing."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose 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 and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.