McCann looking for first All-Star start
Catcher needs Braves fans' votes in Sprint Online Ballot
Brian McCann earned three All-Star selections during his first three full Major League seasons. But fans haven't yet provided the Braves catcher the chance to be behind the plate to start a Midsummer Classic.
With voting beginning on MLB.com on Wednesday, fans will have their first opportunity to cast their ballot for McCann and any of the other Major Leaguers that they believe deserve to start this year's All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Over the past three years, McCann has produced numbers that validate the belief that he's the game's best offensive catcher. The 25-year-old backstop, who played for Team USA in this year's World Baseball Classic, leads all Major League catchers in numerous offensive categories dating back to the start of the 2006 season.
Coming off his first career batting title, Chipper Jones will likely once again gain widespread attention from those same fans who voted him to start last year's game at Yankee Stadium. Jones is a six-time All-Star who has been voted in as a starter four times.
"A lot of it's a popularity contest, but I was able to start in the game last year in Yankee Stadium, which is a big thrill," Jones said. "It was my first one in six or seven years. It's always an honor to represent your team and your league in the All-Star Game, and hopefully I'll put together a good first half."
This is the first year that rookie center fielder Jordan Schafer will be on the All-Star ballot.
"I really don't read into it too much," Schafer said. "It's nice, but ... I'd much rather get back on track here and start getting some wins and make a push for the playoffs."
Other Braves on this year's ballot include first baseman Casey Kotchman, second baseman Kelly Johnson, shortstop Yunel Escobar, left fielder Garret Anderson and right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.
Ballot boxes will be available at Turner Field from May 1 to June 11.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.