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Heyward expected to get All-Star attention

Heyward expected to get All-Star attention

ATLANTA -- Brian McCann is the only player in franchise history to earn All-Star selections during each of his first four full Major League seasons. But with all of the hype he has created during the first weeks of his blossoming career, Jason Heyward might one day match this streak.

Fans will have their first opportunity to vote for Heyward on this year's All-Star ballot, and also to vote McCann into the Midsummer Classic as a starter for the first time.

"It's an honor to be selected to play in any All-Star game," said McCann. "It would definitely be nice to start, but there are a lot of good catchers who are deserving of this honor." This marks the first year that Heyward and second baseman Martin Prado are listed on the All-Star ballots. Both are expected to draw respectable attention from fans who cast their votes online or at any Major League stadium.

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Fans can vote for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Those who want to cast their ballots at Turner Field will be able to do so starting Thursday. Concourse ballot boxes will be in place through June 20.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team through the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint.

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 through the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint.

The All-Star Game, to be played in Anaheim on July 13, 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, and MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

McCann made a strong bid to serve as the National League's starting catcher the past few years and has started this season showing why he leads all Major League backstops in a number of offensive statistical categories, dating back to the beginning of the 2006 season.

Heyward entered this season as a heralded prospect, and when he homered on the first swing of his Major League career, he drew even greater attention in the baseball world. Along with the 20-year-old right fielder, Nate McLouth and Matt Diaz are the Atlanta outfielders on this year's ballot.

Prado's hot start should help him in his battle against other NL second baseman. In addition, if Yunel Escobar continues to show why his teammates consider him to be the NL's most complete shortstop, he, too, could make a serious bid for his first All-Star selection.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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