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2001 All-Star Game
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2001 All-Star Game

Dale Jr. and FanFest

By D.J. Drysdale
MLB.com

D.J. interviews Dale Jr. and goes to FanFest
56K | 300K

D.J. talks to Lasorda, Giles & Alou
56K | 300K

Today started off just like all of the other days. Except that I went straight to the ballpark to interview Dale Ernhardt Jr. Dale was a very nice guy. He said that his favorite team is the New York Yankees. He also said that his favorite player was Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last night as you all know Randy's teammate Luis Gonzalez won the Home Run Derby over Sammy Sosa.

After I interviewed Dale I went over to FanFest. That was a really great place for kids to go. They had all kinds of cool stuff there. They had two different kinds of batting cages -- regular kinds and they had a really neat one too. They also had a place were you could strike out a Major League Baseball player and it would also take the speed of your pitch.

Then there was a place called steal home. They had a Major League Baseball base path that you ran. They timed you as you ran which was cool. They also had a place where you could buy baseball hats. Then they had the latest baseball video games on the upper level that you could play for different systems.

Junior to Junior: Dale meets D.J. prior to the start of the All-Star Game.
They also had people selling all different kinds of baseball and basketball cards. I got a lot of my dad's cards including a game-used jersey and an autographed card. Finding all of those cards on my dad was really neat.

After we were done at FanFest we headed back to the ballpark. There we went down to the field and did the last of our interviews. The first person I interviewed was Tommy Lasorda, the National League honorary manager. He said it is great to manage with Bobby Valentine. Next I had a chance to speak with Dusty Baker of the Giants. The Giants open up with the Mariners after the All-Star break. Dusty hopes they can win maybe one or two.

I spoke with Bobby Valentine again after that. He feels confident today and says that he hopes to win. Bobby did make a change in his starting lineup though. He is now going to start Randy Johnson instead of Curt Schilling. He is doing this because Curt pitched eight innings the game before All-Star week.

After that I caught Joe Torre again. Just like Bobby, Joe is very confident today as well. Joe says he is going to play everybody in the game tonight except for Eric Milton of the Twins. He is not going to play him because he needs someone in the bullpen just in case the game goes into extra innings.

Then I headed over to speak with Ozzie Smith. He said that it was great to be here and that it was great to see Kirby Puckett again. Then I headed over to talk with the players. First I went and spoke to Rich Aurilia. He said it is great to be here. It is his first time here so he is excited. He also said that was exciting to start with two of his teammates.

Then I went over to interview Brian Giles of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is Brian's second time here and he is very excited. Next I went to speak with Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros. It is also Lance's first All-Star Game and he is excited to play in such a great field and stadium.

Finally Moises Alou was really cool. I'd asked him for an interview earlier, and he told me he would speak to me when he had the chance. After the players posed for the team photo, he sought me out to speak with me. I would like to thank everybody at MLB.com for everything up here in Seattle. I had a great experience over these past three days. And I hope to do it again.

Sincerely,

-- DJ

D.J. Drysdale is the Kid Reporter for MLB.com during All-Star week.

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