Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale is the American League's winner of the 2014 MLB Final Vote, sponsored by Experian. Sale is the fourth White Sox player in history to be selected to play in the All-Star Game via MLB's Final Vote, the most for a club in the history of ballot dating back to 2002. In 2005, Sox fans voted Scott Podsednik to the All-Star Game through the Final Vote ballot, in 2006 A.J. Pierzynski was voted onto the A.L. team and Sox captain Paul Konerko garnered a spot on the A.L. roster in 2011.
With more than 6.7 million of the 52.2 million votes that were cast, Chris Sale bested Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros, Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers and Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels. The lefty ace joins teammates and first-time All-Stars Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez at this year's Midsummer Classic.
Sale will now be part of the A.L. roster for the 85th Annual All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15 in Minneapolis. Sale is 8-1 with a 2.08 ERA (22 ER/95.0 IP), two complete games, 102 strikeouts and a .190 opponent average (64-336) over 14 starts (11 quality) this season. His 2.08 ERA will be the lowest by a White Sox starting pitcher (min. 14 starts) heading into the All-Star Break since Britt Burns in 1980 (2.06) and his .889 (8-1) winning percentage in the first half will be second-best in Sox history by a starting pitcher (Jose Contreras, 9-0 in 2006). He has allowed two runs in his last 19.2 IP heading into break.
The White Sox launched the #Target Sale campaign immediately after MLB announced the Final Vote ballot and encouraged fans to vote for Sale as much as possible to earn him that final spot on the American League team. The #TargetSale campaign included several specially-created video features with players, coaches and staff; a social media campaign with unique #TargetSale memes and GIFs; and with a series of watch and vote parties across Chicagoland.
Sale is now becomes the first White Sox pitcher to make three consecutive All-Star teams since Jack McDowell in 1991-93. He was the winning pitcher at last season's Midsummer Classic at New York's Citi Field. Sale ranks among the American League leaders in winning percentage (1st, .889), ERA (1st), opponent average (1st), opponent on-base percentage (1st, .237), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4th, 6.38) and strikeouts-per-9.0 IP (6th, 9.66).