On Monday, the UMBC Athletics Twitter account, which has seen its popularity skyrocket since the men’s basketball team defeated No. 1 Virginia in March, added its voice to the MLB All-Star Game Final Vote campaign.
It didn’t stump for perhaps the more expected candidate, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, but instead for St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter.
It might seem like an unlikely pairing — maybe UMBC, a proudly Maryland school, got confused and cashed in its chips for the wrong bird?
However, the clue lies in the last line: “He loves doggos so #VoteCarp!”
The Retrievers were intrigued by Carpenter’s bid for All-Star honors when Twitter user Howard Tatum requested that UMBC provide help in sending Carpenter on a Final Vote to Washington next week.
UMBC responded four hours later with, “Sure Cardinals, what do you need?”
The Cardinals — rebranded #VoteCarp for the week — denoted Carpenter was a “noted dog lover” and asked UMBC to enlist their fans in voting his name in the ballots simply on the grounds of uniting pups across the realm of sports.
The Retrievers, who already have a social media relationship with the Cardinals’ minor league affiliate in Springfield and their furry mascot Fetch, were more than happy to oblige.
The Retrievers are not the only unusual team to partner with St. Louis for the last-ditch effort to earn Carpenter his fourth All-Star honor. The Cardinals encourage their fans to also cast votes for Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, a St. Louis Blues fan.
Other Final Vote candidates include: Andrelton Simmons (Angels), Eddie Rosario (Twins), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Jean Segura (Mariners), Max Muncy (Dodgers), Jesus Aguilar (Brewers) and Brandon Belt (Giants).
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Fans can try to elect their Final Vote candidates at mlb.com/all-star/final-vote. Ballots close Wednesday at 4 p.m.