This country is based upon the ability of its citizens to select their leaders through a vote where majority rules. The definition of majority sometimes differs but the process is relatively the same. The goal of voting is to allow each and every one of us the opportunity to choose the winner and let our voices be heard. In most cases the process allows one vote per registered voter. There are entire processes and policies surrounding this concept and safeguards are put in place that will monitor adherence to that rule. In some cases though, that rule is allowed to be bent and sometimes broken. Anecdotes abound about elections that were fixed through various methods. One such method is the concept of ballot box stuffing. In this scam, people will vote for themselves but may also vote pretending to be someone they are not circumventing the one person one vote parameter. There have been stories that describe voters in Chicago that voted in city and state elections some 50 or 100 years after their death; a truly phenomenal feat and prove that indeed there is life and politics after death. But what does this have to do with baseball?
Well each season fans are given an opportunity to vote for player selections for the annual all-star game that pits the National League against the American League. Where there may be some fans that take their voting seriously, the vast majority of fans I have come in contact with at the game take more of a beauty pageant approach to voting. They scan the columns of names and select those players who are their favorites or those that they know from either television or from watching them at the ballpark. Seldom do I hear fans debating the statistical parameters of how a particular player is doing this season or whether or not that player is deserving of our votes. I sat next to a lady last night whose voting strategy was that she voted so the pattern of punched holes in her ballot looked like the silhouette of her pet Chihuahua. It was an interesting strategy which resulted in maybe the only votes being made for the Kansas City Royals.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have their own voting strategy. To try and gather more support for the Diamondbacks players, the team is offering a reward to anyone who will vote with multiple ballots. By multiple I mean 50. Yes, the Diamondbacks are encouraging a little ballot box stuffing by offering fans prizes if they bring 50 completed ballots to guest relations. The prize is an Orlando Hudson gold glove bobble head doll. This was all the incentive that my kids needed. Whitney went through 50 ballots before the third inning and collected her bobble head doll. When she showed Dakota her prize that was all the incentive that the needed. Dakota filled out 450 ballots during the course of 7 innings. He got it down to a science where he created one template ballot then used that to punch multiples of 5 making quick work of the ballots. When he delivered his ballots to guest relations he was given the last 2 bobble head dolls. He was a little frustrated that the team had run out of bobble heads before he was able to collect all 9 of his prizes. Dakota is not normally one to take advantage of a situation so this was uncharacteristic for him so I questioned his motives. He simply explained that Trina had insisted that he send thank-you cards to everyone who sent him a gift for his birthday last month. Instead of writing out 10 thank-you cards he thought it might be easier if he just gave everyone a bobble head with the word thanks written across it. I have to admit I liked his thinking. Who wouldn’t want a bobble head doll rather than a thank-you card?