Many votes were cast by fans, but in the end it was Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen who scored the victory as the top vote-getter to become the next star on the cover of MLB 13 The Show.
McCutchen garnered over 100,000 votes in total, which topped New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia's second-place vote total and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera's third-place tally, per CSNBayArea.com.
MLB The Show's Twitter page made the official announcement back in January:
The official winner of the Cover Showdown and the cover athlete for MLB 13 The Show is @thecutch22! Thanks to all candidates and voters!— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) January 12, 2013
Here's a full shot of the cover with McCutchen on it, courtesy of the MLB Public Relations Twitter page:
McCutchen was well-deserving of the honor after posting a career-best season for the Pirates and the same goes for Cabrera. However, the inclusion of CC Sabathia in the voting was a bit puzzling considering the season he had was less than special.
Let's take a look at each of these top vote-getters and why they either deserved consideration for the cover or didn't.
Andrew McCutchen, Center Field, Pittsburgh Pirates
McCutchen had a breakout season for the Pirates in 2012 and looks to be a rising star in the MLB.
The Pirates center fielder hit .327 with 31 homers and 96 RBI, and he even earned consideration as a MVP candidate as Pittsburgh flirted with a playoff run and finished close to .500 for the season (79-83). On top of that, McCutchen won a Gold Glove for his stellar work in the outfield.
According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, McCutchen finished third in the National League MVP voting, falling short behind the winner, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, and Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun.
There was no shame in McCutchen losing to those two as both put up sensational numbers that were slightly better than those of McCutchen's. Still, McCutchen is clearly one of the league's young studs who will take the game into the next generation, so his gracing the cover makes total sense.
CC Sabathia, Starting Pitcher, New York Yankees
Sabathia finished second in the voting, which is more likely a result of the Yankees huge global fanbase rather than his actual performance on the field.
Sabathia finished 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA during a season where he battled some injuries. Those numbers weren't elite by any stretch as the big left-hander failed to finish in the top 10 in any major statistical category amongst pitchers during the 2012 season.
The 15 wins might seem impressive, but that's more the product of a great team in the Bronx who can erase a bad start by scoring a ton of runs for its starter. In fact, Sabathia's win total was his worst since 2006 and his ERA was its highest since 2005.
That's not to say Sabathia had a bad season, but it certainly wasn't a special one. That makes it all the more mind boggling that he had so many votes, but thankfully he didn't win the honor and won't undeservedly be on the cover of this game.
Miguel Cabrera, Third Baseman, Detroit Tigers
Quite honestly, Cabrera should have been on the cover of every baseball video game known to man after the historic season he had with the Tigers.
Cabrera not only won MVP honors by slugging 44 homers and 139 RBI while sporting a .330 average, but he also won the first Triple Crown in Major League Baseball since 1967, which was courtesy of Carl Yastrzemski.
Detroit also had a sensational season as a whole after making its way past the Oakland Athletics and Yankees in the playoffs en route to the World Series. Unfortunately, the Tigers season ended in a sweep, but it was still impressive nonetheless.
Cabrera's season should have earned him the cover because of how incredible he truly was. That isn't to take anything away from McCutchen and the great season he had, but Cabrera was simply better and the memorable season he had should have trumped everyone else.