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Darvish’s peers vote for him to play in All-Star series

Kyodo News

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters right-hander Yu Darvish, who was narrowly edged out by Fukuoka Softbank Hawks lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi in fan voting, was voted in by the players as the results for the upcoming 2010 NPB All-Star series were announced on Thursday.

Darvish, who is 7-4 with a 1.50 ERA in 14 games this season, led the Pacific League with 230 votes in the category for pitchers. He was the top pick for PL pitchers among players for the third consecutive year since player balloting was introduced in 2008.

Darvish was among 11 players who had not received sufficient fan votes but was picked by the players based on his performances to appear in the All-Star series, which will be held at Yahoo Dome and Niigata’s Hard Off Eco Stadium on July 23-24.

“Unless you produce results the players won’t vote for you, so I am happy that I could. I’d like to pitch two strong innings in the All-Star series,” Darvish said.

Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe, who got 385 votes, was selected in the Central League.

Giants shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, who had already been selected in fan balloting, led both leagues with 474 votes.

A total of 759 players on the top- and farm-team rosters voted.

Saitama Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and Lions second baseman Yasuyuki Kataoka were newly selected by the players.

For the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, designated hitter Takeshi Yamasaki, outfielder Teppei Tsuchiya and catcher Motohiro Shima booked their spots after failing to win enough fan votes.

From the Chunichi Dragons, first baseman Tony Blanco, second baseman Hirokazu Ibata and outfielder Kazuhiro Wada were selected.

The manager’s picks will be announced on Monday and the last player will be added on July 14.