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06/22/06 3:54 PM ET

Narron named coach for All-Star Game

Reds skipper to experience festivities for first time in his career

NEW YORK -- A baseball lifer, Reds skipper Jerry Narron has seen many things unfold on a field as a player, coach and manager.

But never in an All-Star Game setting. That will soon change.

On Thursday, Narron was named a coach on the National League All-Star team.

"Twenty-some years in the big leagues, first time. I sure wasn't going to make it as a player," said Narron, who was a career .211 hitter from 1979-87.

Narron received the invitation earlier by phone this week from Astros manager Phil Garner, who will run the NL team by virtue of winning the NL Championship last season.

The 2006 All-Star Game will be played July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The 50-year-old Narron, who is 85-80 (.515) since taking over the Reds last June, planned to spend the All-Star break with two of his children in Cincinnati. He didn't mind altering his itinerary. His 14-year-old son, Connor, will accompany him to Pittsburgh.

"I'm thrilled and honored," Narron said. "I think it says as much about our organization, our coaching staff and our players than it says about me. Just the way we've been playing. I really think it's a nice honor for the organization."

Predicted by many to finish last in the NL Central, the Reds have contended all season. For the past two months, Narron's club has gone 39-34 and has been in either first or second place.

The last Reds manager to coach in the All-Star Game was Jack McKeon in 1999 at Fenway Park.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.