06/29/2004 7:06 PM ET
All-Star Week countdown begins
This is the first installment in a series of reports on the 2004 All-Star Game from Michael McHugh, a 12-year-old sports reporter from Friendswood, Texas. McHugh is a regular contributor to The Reporter News, serving Friendswood and Pearland, Texas. He also writes a column for the official web site of the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros. He was recently featured in SIKIDS Sports Radio.
Kids my age dream of becoming famous baseball players.
I think about how great it would be to be able to write about them, to tell a story and learn more about the person.
Over the last year I have been able to do just that. I write a sports column for The Reporter News, and now have the incredible opportunity to cover the All Star Game and festivities for MLB.com. This is a big moment for me and I am so excited!
It's not always easy being a sports reporter, especially when you are a kid. Fun, but not always easy. After all, I am not the usual sports reporter they are used to seeing. That's ok though. Most of the coaches and players have been very nice and eager to talk with me.
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to cover the All Star Game. It is an honor to be selected to cover the event with media professionals from across the country. I have received a lot of good advice from professionals like Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, and Alyson Footer of MLB.com. The encouragement they have given me to keep asking the questions and not let a "no" get me down have made me more confident and a better reporter.
It will also be fun to be able to cover the game from my hometown field, Minute Maid Park. It has a cool train and fireworks and a retractable roof. In good weather, during the 7th inning, they will open the roof and you can see the Houston skyline. It is an awesome ballpark!
Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Eric Gagne are just a few of the guys I hope to be able to meet and interview. I also hope to see greats like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sean Casey there too and get another chance to ask them some questions. They were big interviews, but all of my interviews are big to me. Every guy has something interesting and fun to say.
The best of the best will go to the All Star Game. Legends, heroes and newcomers will make their way to Houston, and I get to be a part of it all. Normally when school is out, I like the summer to drag on. Not this summer! July 13 can't get here soon enough!
There is a lot in store for baseball fans when they make their way to Houston. The city is ready for fans from all over the country and will have lots of fun things for people to do. Starting on Friday, July 9, All Star Fan Fest kicks off at the George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be live entertainment, exhibits and loads of fun activities for kids. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I plan to be right in the middle of it.
I will keep you posted!
By Michael McHugh / Special to MLB.com
Michael McHugh is a student at Friendswood (Texas) Junior High and is a special contributor to MLB.com. He will provide special coverage of the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.