Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Before throwing out the first pitch at Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game at Spring Mobile Ballpark, Rod Carew delivered some gems to the participants. The Hall of Famer was the keynote speaker at a luncheon earlier in the day at EnergySolutions Arena.
"I've been there so I know what they're going through," Carew said. "If I can help in some way to get them to understand what it takes to get to the big leagues, what it takes to stay there and how to go about handling themselves then I feel that I continue to do the job that was passed on to me.."
Carew, an 18-time All-Star during his major league career with the Twins (1967-78) and Angels (1979-85), advised the players on a variety of topics while addressing the gathering for nearly 30 minutes. He reminded them to be role models and always take time for the fans, emphasizing the importance of being a good person.
The seven-time American League batting champion shared stories from his playing days and also took questions from the crowd.
Former Utah Jazz coach, general manager and president Frank Layden was the other featured speaker. He advised the all-stars not to take the game for granted.
HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: As was the case when serving as hosts in 1996, Salt Lake had four representatives in the Triple-A All-Star Game. Bees infielders Jeff Baisley and Gil Velazquez were joined on the Pacific Coast League squad by manager Keith Johnson and trainer Brian Reinker, who assisted the coaching staff.
Fifteen years earlier, the Salt Lake Buzz were represented by Todd Walker and Brian Raabe, as well as manager Phil Roof and trainer Rick McWane.
Salt Lake City joins Albuquerque and Louisville as the only two-time hosts in the 24-year history of the Triple-A All-Star Game.
"It's been a little hectic but it was fun," Baisley said of the busy week.
The Bees open a series at Tacoma on Thursday.
AROUND THE HORN: The attendance was 12,439. ... Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker joined Carew in throwing ceremonial first pitches. ... Sacramento pitcher Willie Eyre was an all-stater at Cyprus High School and an All-American at the College of Eastern Utah. ... Albuquerque Isotopes outfielder Trayvon Robinson played for the Ogden Raptors in 2005. ... The radio broadcast featured Steve Klauke from the Bees and Neil Solondz from the Durham Bulls.
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