Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson will be on the National League coaching staff in the All-Star Game at Chase Field this year, one of the perks of hosting the game.
Unlike in his playing days, he will be a willing participant.
Gibson figured the All-Star game was not for him during his 17-year playing career, turning down two invitations, once when he was with Detroit and again after he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, he now realizes its importance.
"I never saw myself like that (an All-Star), I guess," Gibson told FOXSportsArizona.com shortly after being appointed the D-Backs' interim manager last July 1.
"I kind of gave everything I had on the field for my team, and I just wanted to relax and recharge and spend time with my family. And ultimately I thought there was probably somebody else out there that would enjoy it and represent it better than me."
Gibson is the only league MVP who never has appeared in an All-Star game, having won the NL MVP award in 1988 in his first season with the Dodgers.
"The one time in L.A., especially, I really wanted to go home," Gibson said. "I hadn't seen my family. Now, I've grown up a lot. It probably wasn't the right thing to do. My dad would go 'C'mon.'
"I wasn't great with the fans signing autographs. It took me a while to understand it all. I wouldn't have been the best representative, and that's enough said."
The competitor in Gibson believes the major league All-Star Game is the best among major sports, because the outcome means something.
"They play, and there's something at stake," Gibson said. "I think it's outstanding. I'm not slighting anybody else's games. Let's be clear about that. I'm just saying I like the way this is done."
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