CHICAGO -- Never has Jake Peavy had so much fun finishing second in a baseball competition.
The White Sox right-hander placed just behind Texas starter You Darvish in the American League portion of the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone. White Sox fans made a huge late push on Thursday through Twitter to get Peavy to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and an upbeat Peavy was focused more on the support he received in this race after the White Sox 2-1 victory on Thursday completed a rare three-game sweep of the Rangers.
"We knew we had a tough fight ahead of us, but I just can't thank the White Sox, friends, family, the fans [enough]," Peavy said. "The support was overwhelming. It was humbling. It was incredible. We had so much fun with it.
"It just wasn't meant to be. Obviously, we knew it's hard to out-vote a country."
The #TakeJake campaign undertaken by the White Sox included some of the most creative video work among the 10 candidates the club has supported in the Final Vote battles since 2002. Those videos included White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in a takeoff of the popular "Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials, a humorous spot with David Freese, this year's National League Final Vote winner, as part of the White Sox/Cardinals "Red, White & You" alliance and one of The Golden Knights holding a #TakeJake banner as he parachuted on to U.S. Cellular Field before Thursday's win.
Then, there was Gordon Beckham's near-perfect imitation of Peavy that ran originally at the ballpark on Wednesday night. The mannerisms and buzzwords tied to Peavy were spot on by Beckham, although Peavy added that some other humorous parts of the video ended up as outtakes.
"There's no doubt that it tops the list of fun things that has happened," said Peavy, who pointed to White Sox captain Paul Konerko as the mastermind, producer and director of the Beckham parody video. "He had a lot of it down, I'm pretty sure.
"That's one thing about this team -- we all love each other, and you can poke fun at each other and have fun because this is a great team chemistry. I thought it was great."
Peavy can now make firm plans for the All-Star break, which will begin with the right-hander paying his final respects on Sunday night and Monday to close friend and mentor Darrel Akerfelds, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on June 24. As he's watching the All-Star Game on television on Tuesday night, Peavy will think about the most fun he ever had coming up short and his near-miss at becoming the White Sox record-setting fourth Final Vote champ.
"'Thank you' doesn't do the way I feel justice," Peavy said. "It's truly amazing, from the fans and the teammates to what the front office did. [White Sox senior vice president of communications] Scott Reifert and his staff, and [senior vice president of sales and marketing] Brooks Boyer.
"I hate to name names, but it's one of the coolest experiences I've ever went through. It's uncomfortable, everybody hyping and promoting you, but it's still an awesome feeling."
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.