ATLANTA -- Brian McCann's annual All-Star selection proved a little more special last year when he was elected to serve as the National League's starting catcher for the first time. Fans have a chance to allow him to enjoy this honor for a second straight year.
While proving to be one of the game's top catchers, McCann has earned an All-Star selection during each of his first six full Major League seasons. His teammate Chipper Jones has earned seven All-Star selections during a career that will conclude at the end of this year.
With this year's All-Star balloting process underway, fans have one more chance to show their appreciation for Jones and also express whether they believe Jason Heyward is once again one of the NL's top outfielders. After being voted to start the 2010 All-Star Game as a 20-year-old, Heyward did not gain a selection during last year's injury-plagued, disappointing season.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9. The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities. The 83rd 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. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg. With Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols now in the American League, the Braves' Freddie Freeman might draw more support among NL first basemen this year. Braves second baseman Dan Uggla is also expected to fare well in this year's balloting.
"It's a very humbling thing just to be on the ballot," Freeman said. "Just to be put on that list is something special. You never play this game to try to make All-Star teams, but to be considered is something special."
This marks the first time rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky has been on an All-Star ballot. The other Braves on this year's ballot are outfielders Michael Bourn and Martin Prado.
"It's an honor to be thought of among those guys," Bourn said. "Everybody would want to be an All-Star and nobody would turn that down. If you are a player and don't want to be an All-Star, that's crazy."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.