Trevor Story's mug began showing up on TV screens for the nation Wednesday, even though those who know him best may have done a double-take.
Story, a rookie shortstop with 19 home runs entering Thursday, is one of five National League candidates in the Esurance MLB All-Star Final Vote, through which fans pick the final player on the NL roster via Rockies.com, MLB.com and social media platforms. As of Thursday afternoon's voting update, he was third in the NL -- behind leader Starling Marte of the Pirates and Brandon Belt of the Giants, and ahead of the D-backs' Jake Lamb and the Brewers' Ryan Braun.
Story, 23, who says he doesn't like to self-promote but is being a good sport, was interviewed on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio and CBS Radio, and was interviewed in MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" program. But noticeably missing was the dishwater blond beard that has decorated his face since Opening Day -- when he homered twice. He shaved it, although he insisted it wasn't to make himself more appealing to voters.
Story told teammate Carlos Gonzalez, an All-Star who has been talking up Story's candidacy, that he had to "change it up" after going 0-for-8 the first two games of the series with the Giants. But there was a practical reason: "Too much upkeep for me, and it doesn't look as good as [center fielder] Charlie Blackmon's," he said.
Besides, the time Story is not grooming a beard, he can spend joining the fun of the Final Vote.
The Rockies also have teamed with the Astros, who have outfielder George Springer up for the American League Final Vote, under the hashtag #SpringerStory.
In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites such as Rockies.com and Astros.com, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. And, to vote for Story, fans can text "N5" to 89269. And for Springer, it's not much different -- text "A5" to 89269. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
Voting ends on Friday at 2 p.m. MT.
Story has already been impressed by the early voting.
"It's special, very humbling to see all the people that are going out of their way to vote," Story said.
Even manager Walt Weiss lent his thumbs to the effort.
"I voted many hundreds of times … we've got to get him into the All-Star Game," Weiss said.
Gonzalez, Blackmon and Nick Hundley have all been stumping for Story in the media. The campaign could become more visible Thursday, when the Rockies return to Coors Field for a four-game series with the Phillies.
The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting, will be announced Friday during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 2-3 p.m. MT. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 8 a.m.-2 p.m. MT on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com