By Ryan Divish
The Seattle Times
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The #SendSegura campaign can now be called #SentSegura. The efforts of the Mariners’ marketing department, the players and coaching staff and the fans of the team across the country have put shortstop Jean Segura into the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Thanks to an aggressive approach on social media that included giveaways, promotions, videos, a SeguraFest at Safeco Field and more, Segura won MLB’s American League final vote, tallying the most votes of the five finalists, beating out Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox, Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees, Eddie Rosario of the Twins and Andrelton Simmons of the Angels.
Segura joins teammates Edwin Diaz, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger on the American League All-Star team. His 13.6 million votes bested his American League competition, but fell nearly 7 million shy of the National League winner. The Brewers’ Jesus Aguilar finished with the second-highest final vote total of its 17-year existence, totaling more than 20 million.
Admittedly angry and disappointed since not being selected in the initial announcement of the All-Star teams on Sunday, Segura was humbled by all the support he’d received over the past few days.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I can’t believe all those people around the world, the fans, the marketing, the organization, the people in Seattle, my teammates, even Felix (Hernandez) yesterday going around the city trying to get some votes for me. It just feels amazing. It feels special. You come from another country and you see how the people support you around the world, it makes it even more special.”
Less than 24 hours earlier, Segura couldn’t help but feel slighted. Now that feeling was gone.
“There are so many good shortstops in the league, and to be a part of the All-Star team feels amazing,” he said.
Seattle manager Scott Servais was impressed by the Mariners’ fanbase and their enthusiasm to help Segura win the vote.
“The outpouring of support by our fanbase and what the group in marketing department did to create this SeguraFest, I can’t say enough about how good that it makes me feel and certainly our players feel, knowing their support is there for something like this,” Servais said. “It is awesome.”
Segura had booked a few days at a resort to spend time with his family.
“It was a little bit of vacation, take everybody out there,” he said, “and spend time with my kids. We are always on the road and we get home late at night, so you don’t get to play with them or say goodnight to them. You can’t really enjoy the age they’re at right now because you are gone.”
Those plans have been nixed, and his kids will be going to Washington D.C. with him along with his wife, mother and a few friends. Having children there with him as part of that experience was important.
“Hell yes,” he said. “They are going to be the first ones out there on that field. They are going out there.”
This is Segura’s second All-Star game selection. Back in 2013 in his first full season in the big leagues, he was chosen to represent the Brewers. He was just 23 at the time. His favorite part is just being on the field with all of the best players in the game, interacting and having fun.
“It’s very special,” he said. “When you are around those guys, it’s because you deserve to go there. It’s something I can’t explain to you. It feels so great, so good. There are so many big faces in baseball right there. As a player, I made my first All-Star game when I was 23. After that, I was dragging in my development, but now I’ve made it back to another All-Star game and it feels amazing.”