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Bay hopes for first All-Star appearance

Bay leads list of Pirates All-Star candidates

In 2004, baseball writers from around the National League made Jason Bay the first Pittsburgh Pirate and first Canadian-born recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award.

Now, the Bucs faithful can help to send Bay to his first All-Star Game.

Bay has overcome the dreaded "sophomore jinx" to put together a fine start to his second season. He is batting .291 and paces the club with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs. Bay has also played solid defense while appearing in every game with the Pirates this season in either left or center field.

"For a Rookie of the Year, he's certainly mature beyond his age," said Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon. "He really handled things and kept things in perspective, and he continues to do that."

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30. The ushers at PNC Park will continue distributing ballots at the site of the 2006 All-Star Game until June 22.

In addition to Bay, seven other Pirates are represented on the annual All-Star ballot, including first baseman Craig Wilson, second baseman Jose Castillo, shortstop Jack Wilson, third baseman Ty Wigginton and outfielders Tike Redman and Matt Lawton.

The 2005 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 3.

This special program will feature the announcement of the 17 elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 45 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot, the two All-Star team managers -- Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals -- and Major League Baseball.

Ed Eagle 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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