Braves' McCann headed to fourth straight all-star game

The sterling start to Brian McCann's baseball career continued Sunday.

McCann made his fourth straight National League all-star team after being voted as a reserve for the July 14 game by his peers. It's an impressive run of all-star appearances for anyone, but particularly for someone who is still only 25.

This one is even sweeter given this season's rough start that sent the former Duluth Wildcat to the disabled list with a frustrating eye problem.

"This is probably the happiest I've been because I didn't know what was going on earlier in the season. But we found the solution and I bounced back," McCann, the only Brave selected for the game, told the Associated Press.

McCann struggled early this season with the vision in his left eye, believed to be an issue from corrective laser surgery after the 2007 season. He went on the 15-day disabled list and tried multiple types of contact lenses, before finally settling the dilemma with specially fitted glasses.

McCann is hitting .304 this season with eight home runs and 33 RBIs.

He was hitting below .200 while battling the eye issues, but has been on a hot streak since figuring his health out.

Despite a push for McCann votes, including a spirited rally by several Gwinnettians, he still finished well shy of NL starting catcher Yadier Molina, a St. Louis Cardinal who got 2,641,467 votes to McCann's 2,375,808.

McCann won the player balloting handily, however, 499-314.

"(McCann) deserves it," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones told the AP. "He's the best catcher in the league."

Since 2006, McCann leads all MLB catchers in homers (73), extra-base hits (204), doubles (129) and RBIs (305). He also is tied for first with 40 game-winning RBIs.