MLB: Delabar leads AL All-Star voting entering final day (07/11)

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Use #RaiseTheBar on twitter between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today to vote for him

By Chuck Jones

Steve Delabar goes into the final day of the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote balloting sponsored by freecreditscore.com with a lead.

In the numbers released Wednesday morning, Delabar maintained his top spot in the American League, while Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is still the National League leader.

“The Jays fans, they’re blowing it up,” Delabar said on the team’s Website. “Their fan base, obviously it’s one of the biggest. One team for a whole country is amazing, so all I can say is ‘wow.’ They’re great. They’re so supportive. They love their team, and I can just say, ‘thank you.’”

Delabar leads New York Yankees reliever David Robertson, followed by Detroit Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit, Boston Red Sox’s Koji Uehara and Texas Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers.

In the NL, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is second followed by San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

More than 50 million online votes have been cast.

Team and players have formed alliances in voting and none seems to be thicker than the Blue Jays and Braves. On Tuesday, the clubs offering a total of six signed baseballs, signed by both Delabar and Freeman, to be given to six lucky voters.

It’s been an amazing journey for Delabar, from out of baseball to on the verge of making the All-Star game. Delabar’s father, Steve, said he can’t believe all the support from the fans.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Steve said. “We’re pretty proud parents. The amount of people that has supported him, not just locally, but everywhere has been incredible. After all he’s been through, this is pretty special. It’s awesome.”

After fracturing his right elbow while throwing a pitch for the Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am League, Delabar was working at the Players Dugout when he began a throwing program called Velocity. To be able to teach the program, Delabar, who was going to college and coaching at John Hardin at the same time, took part in it and saw remarkable results.

Two years later, Delabar has blossomed into one of the game’s most reliable relievers. He has a 5-1 record with a sparking 1.76 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 41 innings this season.

“It’s the greatest story in Major League history, ever,” said Joe Newton, owner of the Players Dugout. “There’s not one like it. How could anybody break their arm, anybody come back, make it to the Major Leagues and now be on the All-Star ballot? It’s never happened, ever. It's the most amazing story in 143 years.”

Chuck Jones can be reached at (270) 505-1759 or cjones@thenewsenterprise.com.