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Schoop earns first career All-Star nod

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Friends and family approached Jonathan Schoop throughout a career first half to tell him he had a shot at the All-Star Game. The humble second baseman never put too much stock in the idea, as he just concentrated on helping the Orioles win every game possible.

But others around the American League took notice. And Schoop, who has long been in the shadow of Orioles All-Star infielder Manny Machado, found himself in an unusual spot on Sunday night: Front and center as he was chosen as an American League reserve for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

BALTIMORE -- Friends and family approached Jonathan Schoop throughout a career first half to tell him he had a shot at the All-Star Game. The humble second baseman never put too much stock in the idea, as he just concentrated on helping the Orioles win every game possible.

But others around the American League took notice. And Schoop, who has long been in the shadow of Orioles All-Star infielder Manny Machado, found himself in an unusual spot on Sunday night: Front and center as he was chosen as an American League reserve for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"You know, I got nervous. My head started spinning," said Schoop, of his initial reaction. "I was so happy, excited. I work hard. For me, for myself, and to make my team better. It means a lot for me and for my family."

The 25-year-old Schoop, in his fourth full Major League season, is a first-time All-Star and was one of five roster selections by MLB. Through 78 games, Schoop has 16 homers and 51 RBIs and is on pace to easily set career bests in both marks.

"Words can't even describe how much I'm happy for him and rooting for him," said Machado, who is from Miami and told Schoop he has a place to stay for the All-Star festivities.

"He's like a brother to me and, you know, we've dealt with a lot of things in the Minor Leagues and up in the big leagues as well, you know ups and downs, and to finally see what he's turning into as a player, that's unbelievable to watch. As a hitter, a second baseman, just his overall play. ... His game has gone to another level and finally other teams and players and coaches are finally seeing it and giving him a chance to represent this organization and represent himself in a good way."

Schoop, who signed as a free agent out of Curacao in 2008, played with Machado at nearly every level together before making his debut Sept. 25, 2013.

"Just a little skinny kid. He wasn't even thought of as one of our big prospects," Orioles infield and third-base coach Bobby Dickerson said of Schoop, who he first met in 2010 at the team's Dominican Academy. "He was always second, third, fourth guy on the club. If you go all the way to Curacao, he was always behind [Jurickson] Profar, and then coming up with Manny, obviously all the attention was on Manny.

"It was just really an awesome thing for me, just knowing what he has been through."

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, 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, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 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 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, 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.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Jonathan Schoop