Right-hander Kenta Maeda was the top vote-getter among Central League starters as eight Hiroshima Carp players were selected in fan balloting for the upcoming All-Star series after the final results were announced on Friday.
Hiroshima’s eight matched a tie for the second most named in fan balloting since nine were selected for the All-Star series from the Hanshin Tigers in 2003.
Kam Mickolio, Kila Ka’aihue and Brad Eldred were all selected, the first time three foreign players from one team were chosen in fan balloting.
Single-season home run king Wladimir Balentien from the CL’s Tokyo Yakult Swallows was also picked, making it also the first time for either league that four foreign players will appear.
Maeda received 203,817 votes, while Orix Buffaloes Yuki Nishi was the top vote-getter among starting pitchers in the Pacific League with 250,783. Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters player Shohei Otani, who was selected as an outfielder in last year’s fan balloting, came in third for starting pitchers this season with 163,617 votes.
Orix Buffaloes outfielder Yoshio Itoi was once again the most popular by far in both leagues as he garnered 487,246 votes. The PL-leading Buffaloes had five selected in fan balloting — its most ever in team history.
Hiroshima Carp outfielder Yoshihito Maru had the most votes in the CL with 359,554.
The results of the players’ votes will be announced on Monday, and the managers’ picks of players for the 28-member squads will be decided on Thursday. Game 1 is scheduled for July 18 at Seibu Dome, followed by Game 2 on the 19th at Koshien Stadium.