For the 2010 All-Star game, Anaheim was the site, Angel Stadium the ballpark, and Torii Hunter the host, a role he long hoped for that became official when players voted the Angels center fielder onto the roster July 4.
He seemed excited that day, sounding like a campaigning politician when he noted how he would go to all the events, "have some fun, smile and kiss some babies."
Next time, if there is one, he may want to concede the gig to someone else, because, like other hosts before him, Hunter struggled when it was time to play ball.
His line in the National League's 3-1 win Tuesday: 0 for 2 with a strikeout and a game-high three runners left on base, including striking out with the potential tying runs on base in the fifth inning.
That strikeout came with two outs against St. Louis reliever Adam Wainwright, and Hunter, who was making his fourth All Star appearance, admitted he was swinging for the fences.
"I was swinging so hard, it was unbelievable," said Hunter, who is now hitless in six career All Star at-bats. "In that situation, you want to calm yourself down, but I was too anxious. I was trying to go deep."
Wainwright didn't let him, punching Hunter out with a low-90s cutter on a 1-2 count.
"I was thinking he was going to challenge me with a fastball, but he didn't," Hunter said. "He was there to win and you could see it in his eyes. He was ready to go."
Hunter, meanwhile, was dragging somewhat, and that could be blamed on his hosting duties.
"It was fun, but at the same time, it was tiring," he said. "I was up at 7 yesterday, 7 o'clock this morning. I think I was full of Red Bull and Pepsi. It was tough today."
Did playing the hometown hero wear on him in the days leading up to the game?
"It does," he said. "It does wear you out. But at the same time, you can't use that as an excuse. I was having so much fun out there, man. Your adrenaline takes over. All the energy the Angel fans gave me, they gave me a little more energy. But I did have some pick-me-ups — coffee, you name it."
Hunter, chosen as a reserve for the game, came in as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning and finished it out.
Before his first at-bat, the mostly-sea-of-red crowd of 45,408 came alive, but largely because San Diego reliever Heath Bell, who came in to face Hunter, sprinted from the bullpen.
Hunter didn't give his fans anything to cheer after that, flying out with a runner at third base.
"I hit the ball hard, I just hit it too high," Hunter said.
Hunter's struggles as an All Star host aren't uncommon. St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols played the same role last year, going 0 for 3 at the plate and committing
an error in the first inning that led to two AL runs. Pujols too admitted he was tired.
Perhaps the position's taxing duties explain why only two players — Boston's Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Cleveland's Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1997— have earned All-Star MVP honors in their backyard.
No matter. Hunter is just looking forward to the rest.
"Tomorrow," he said, "I'm just going to kick back, relax with the family, probably sleep in until like 1 and try to get some rest and heal the body and be ready to go Thursday."
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