DETROIT -- Josh Donaldson is not only headed to the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile as the starting third baseman for the American League, but he also shattered the all-time record for most fan votes.
Donaldson's vote total (14,090,188) surpassed the previous record, owned by Josh Hamilton (11,073,744). Toronto's slugging infielder also joins Jose Bautista as the only two players in franchise history to lead the league in voting. Fans answered Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry's call in droves to send Donaldson to the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati.
This was the first year that voting was done entirely online, and a total of 620 million votes were cast, far surpassing the record of 391 million votes in 2012.
Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers 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 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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.
The 29-year-old Donaldson becomes the first Blue Jays third baseman and the fourth infielder to win a fan election. He joins second baseman Roberto Alomar (1991-94), first baseman John Olerud ('93) and first baseman Carlos Delgado (2003).
"It's a big honor to represent this team, for how many good players we have," Donaldson said. "It's an honor to be ticketed by the fans, and really just something that hasn't really been done before. I honestly could never tell you I would ever expect this; it's kind of mind-blowing a little bit."
Donaldson entered play on Sunday afternoon ranked first in the AL with 174 total bases. He also ranked second in the Majors with 61 runs scored and third in the AL with 39 extra-base hits. Those numbers accompanied a .295 average with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs and an .881 OPS -- and of course his usual exceptional defense.
The Blue Jays have been getting everything they could have hoped for and more from Donaldson after a blockbuster offseason deal with Oakland. He was acquired for Brett Lawrie, lefty Sean Nolin, right-hander Kendall Graveman and shortstop Franklin Barreto in a trade that shocked the league.
Donaldson's continued presence as the club's No. 2 hitter in front of Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion has been a primary reason why Toronto has the best lineup in the Majors. The Blue Jays entered a series finale vs. Detroit having scored 450 runs, which is 72 more than than the second-place Yankees.
"He has been huge," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "First off, he's one of the top players in the game, that's a given, we see it every day. But he has a different kind of personality, I've said before many times, that we needed on this ballclub.
"He's a guy that keeps pushing, pushing, never takes an inning off. We needed some of that, but the name of the game is production on the field, and he is near the top of most offensive categories and he has played some great defense for us. I don't know where we would be without him."
Donaldson's support is yet another testament to how he was able to transform his career after being taken first round of the 2007 Draft, but not becoming a regular in the big leagues until '12.
"Five years ago, I probably wouldn't have believed you," Donaldson said of his second All-Star nod. "Did I think I had the capability? Sure. But if we're talking reality, that's a pretty big accomplishment and I feel pretty honored for this to be my second one.
"It's just one of those things where every day I go out there, I try to help my team win and at the end of the day, if we win, for the most part, I feel like I'm going to have some success in that."