ST. LOUIS — David Freese remains in the lead for the final National League All-Star spot with less than a day remaining. And Nelly, the nationally known rapper and St. Louis native, may be a reason why.
Nelly has been one of the many to campaign for Freese’s inclusion on the N.L. squad, tweeting out reminders to his 2.4 million followers on Twitter all week to, “please vote A TON for my guy and deserving All-Star @dfreese23.”
“I’m friends with him, I see him every now and then,” Freese said. “We roll around every now and then.
“It’s cool just having a lot of friends throwing stuff out there helping me and just spreading the word. It’s St. Louis. They love Cardinals baseball and they are doing what they can.”
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is second, with Braves outfielder Michael Bourn in third and Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill in fourth. Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was leading the vote Tuesday, but was selected to the team as a replacement for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
Major League Baseball wouldn’t say what kind of lead Freese had on Harper when the latest results were released Wedneday morning. But things figure to remain close with the national attention Harper has received since bursting onto the scene this year.
And he’s getting plenty of support as well. Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III have been tweeting out messages to vote for Harper on their Twitter accounts as well.
“I can’t control it so I’m trying not to worry about it,” Freese said. “I’m feeling the same way I did yesterday. The possibility is there. Just being a part of this last five is cool and it gives you a chance.
“We’ll see how it ends up.”
Freese, who enters Wednesday’s game with the Colorado Rockies hitting .286 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI, is looking for his first All-Star Game selection.
“Obviously a first time selection would be great but I think to see the old coaching staff would be awesome,” Freese said. “That would be really cool. Maybe not (Dave) McKay in a Cubs uniform, just kidding, but it would be cool to be around that group one more time.
“It would be an honor, it would be great to not have the All-Star break and hit up that game.”
Former Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa will manage the National League squad and his 2011 coaching staff, including a pair of coaches with new teams, will reunite in the dugout one more time.
Fans can vote for Freese by texting ‘N2′ to 89269 or online at MLB.com. Voting ends Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. central time. The Cardinals plan to give one fan who votes for Freese four Field Box tickets for the game against the Pirates on Aug. 18.
“I had my kids on the way home last night, they hit up my phone again and theirs and told all their buddies,” said manager Mike Matheny. “Boy, that would be nice.”
Freese is looking to join teammates Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal and Lance Lynn on the National League squad. The game is Tuesday in Kansas City.