Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After multiple weeks of hinting at the National League coaching staff having a special inclusion for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts eventually revealed that to be Reggie Smith. The two have been friends for more than 15 years, and Smith of course played for the Dodgers.
“I’ve known him for many years and what he did in the game of baseball, what he did off the field, what he has continued to do off the field for the urban youth, shouldn’t go unnoticed,” Roberts said at the time of naming Smith to his All-Star Game staff.
“And I think that for us to give an opportunity to connect old versus young players, generations, I think it’s very cool. And when I told him, he got pretty choked up. Reggie is a very humble guy, hasn’t been around the big leagues in quite some time so I just thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring it back and from what I hear from the texts I’ve received, it’s been all received really well, which it should be, and Reggie and his family are thrilled.”
Smith was seated next to Roberts in the home dugout at Coors Field on Tuesday night but was then sent to the mound to make a pitching change in the top of the eighth inning. “Sprung it on him,” Roberts said after his NL All-Stars lost for an eighth consecutive time to the American League.
“Talked to the guys before the game and I thought his message was really special. He talked about his experience in an All-Star Game. So as the game was playing out, I wanted to get guys in.
“And so just thought it was a good opportunity to let him go get that pitcher and I think it was special for him.”
Smith played for the Dodgers from 1977-1981 and went to three All-Star Games during that time.
Roberts enjoyed time with Bud
Per All-Star Game tradition, Roberts also featured Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black on his coaching staff in recognition of the hometown team.
“It was great. He’s a good friend of mine, mentor. This is the second time we’ve been able to do this in his hometown, home ballpark,” Roberts said. “I got to take over his office for a couple of days, so that was fun. And it’s always great spending time with good friends.”
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