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07/10/06 5:46 PM ET
All-Star Game a Rockies family affair
Holliday, Fuentes reveling in sharing Classic with loved ones
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday wasn't the only member of his family who has been spending practically his whole life preparing for his All-Star debut. A regular presence in the Rockies' clubhouse is Jackson, the 2 1/2-year-old son of Matt and Leslee Holliday. He'll grab a bat as big as he is, take a left-handed stance and, at Dad's prompting, add a Todd Helton right leg kick to his swing or become a mirror image of Gary Sheffield flipping his wrists to make the bat look like a licorice whip before the pitch. Holliday planned to take Jackson to the field for Monday's workout at PNC Park, where the game will take place Tuesday night, and let him shine. "I hope I can get some of these guys and show them the work he's been doing," Holliday said. "I've got him working on Ichiro [Suzuki]. It looks pretty good. He does Nomar [Garciaparra] pretty good, too. I'll have to find Nomar and show him." Left-handed pitcher Brian Fuentes and his wife, Barbara, also have their son, Giovanni Paolo, on hand for All-Star festivities. Maybe one day he'll come to the Midsummer Classic and show that he can mimic the left-handed, low-angle, short-armed delivery that earned his dad the nickname "T-Rex" from an opposing hitter. But not yet. Giovanni was born May 4, and the Fuentes couple adopted him that day. He won't remember his first All-Star Game, which is his dad's second. But his parents will make sure he won't forget it. "Me and my wife were talking about it last night," said Fuentes, who figures to be used against American League left-handed hitters this year, after warming up twice but not appearing in last year's game in Detroit. "He's not going to remember this, but we're going to get it on camera and show him some footage when he's old enough. But he's just along for the ride right now." The All-Star break is a busy time for both players, who have made it a family celebration. Fuentes has brought 12 family members, a friend and his wife. After feeling like time raced by last year, he is more familiar and better able to enjoy the events. So if he and his wife want to partake in some of the All-Star festivities, Giovanni has plenty of potential babysitters. Holliday has local roots. His parents would annually bring him to Uniontown, Pa., for Thanksgiving with his grandmother, who still lives there. It's a double celebration for the 15 or so Hollidays with tickets. Matt's father, Tom Holliday, on Friday agreed to leave his job as pitching coach at the University of Texas to become associate head coach at North Carolina State.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.