Chance to coach is Fredi's top All-Star memory
Braves manager was third-base coach at '07 Midsummer Classic
ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, picking his favorite All-Star Game memory was easy. His only trip to the Midsummer Classic came in 2007, when National League manager Tony La Russa picked Gonzalez, then in his first year as Marlins manager, to be a part of his coaching staff.
Gonzalez was the NL's third-base coach for the first five innings of the game, but he said the best part was being able to go with his son, Alex, who was 14 at the time.
"That was special," Gonzalez said. "He got to shag on the field; he was old enough to do that."
While Gonzalez was managing the Marlins, his family was still living near Atlanta, where he had been Bobby Cox's third-base coach for four years. The All-Star Game gave him a chance to catch up with Alex and go out to dinner a few times with his son.
The game was held at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and may be best remembered for Mariners center fielder Ichiro Suzuki's game-winning, inside-the-park home run. It also was the final All-Star Game for Giants left fielder Barry Bonds.
Gonzalez said he was awed by the talent on the All-Star rosters when he and the other coaches were going over scouting reports.
"We were going through the advanced meeting going, 'How do you pitch around here? Everybody's an All-Star, everybody's had great years,'" Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez has not returned to the All-Star Game since, but said he soaked up as many memories as he could in 2007.
"It was fun to be in that atmosphere," Gonzalez said. "You never know when you're going to get another opportunity. It's going to be one of the memories I'm going to keep for a long time."
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.
Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.