All-Star experience has CY wanting more
D-backs outfielder motivated to earn another selection
ANAHEIM -- Now that he's gotten a taste of the All-Star Game experience, D-backs outfielder Chris Young cannot wait for another."It sets a new bar almost," Young said. "The majority of the guys in this clubhouse have been here before, and next year they will be expected to be here again. After you get rewarded with something like this, it makes you want to work harder and be one of the elite players because you get rewarded for it and it's a good feeling."
Young got into Tuesday's All-Star Game in the seventh inning when National League manager Charlie Manuel inserted him as a pinch-hitter for Andre Ethier after American League skipper Joe Girardi brought in lefty Matt Thornton.With one out and runners on first and third, Young popped out to first base. "When you're in the heat of the moment and you don't get the job done with a runner on third base, you're upset and you're mad and you wish you could get that at-bat back," Young said. "But after you win, you realize what you just accomplished and you just enjoy the moment." Young, who stayed in the game in center after his at-bat, got a second chance in the ninth inning against former teammate and current Tigers closer Jose Valverde. Before the game, the pair had joked with Valverde saying he was going to do his celebratory gestures if he struck Young out and Young saying he would imitate Valverde if he was able to hit a homer against him. After taking a fastball for a ball, Young swung and missed at three straight split-finger pitches. "He told me he was going to throw me three of them," Young said referring to the split-finger. "But I figured he would try to mix a fastball in. I tried to stay on the fastball and he did his little Valverde hop on me. That was a fun little competition. He got me this time. I'll get him next time." The lone play he got in the field was when he nabbed Ian Kinsler's fly ball to end the game and seal the NL's first win since 1996. Young jogged in and gave the ball to closer Jonathan Broxton. "Initially when he hit it I wondered if I could get there, but that's just the adrenaline flowing," Young said. "Then I knew I had a bead on it. To get the win like that, it's exciting." Young also participated in the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday night, and though he hit just one homer and was eliminated after the first round, it was an experience he will cherish. "The Home Run Derby was amazing," Young said. "I only hit one, but it didn't even matter. When I sit back and think about it, it doesn't bother me. I wish I would have hit more, but at the same time I was in it and forever I can say I participated in the Home Run Derby, so that's exciting for me." Young is not a big autograph collector so he only got a few signatures for some of the many family members he had in attendance. Having his family with him was the most enjoyable part of the experience for Young. His two nephews were on the field with him for the Derby and were given video and picture-taking duties. "The experience for them has been just as good as it has for me and I've had a blast," Young said. "Getting to share this with them has been unbelievable. It's something they're going to remember and something I will remember, too." Young would also like to be able to make more memories in the future. "I'd like to come back as much as possible," he said. "This was so much fun."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.