Gonzalez named All-Star Game ambassador

Gonzalez named All-Star Game ambassador

PHOENIX -- Luis Gonzalez owns the most important hit in Arizona Diamondbacks franchise history with a game-winning single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, so it is no surprise that he will play a key role in the biggest event to come to Chase Field since that Fall Classic.

Gonzalez will serve as ambassador for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Summer as the D-backs get set to host the Midsummer Classic on July 12.

"The All-Star Game is baseball's premier showcase and I'm honored to serve as the event's spokesperson in the city I will always call my professional home," said Gonzalez, who was selected to five All-Star Games during his career. "I spent the best years of my career in Phoenix with the Diamondbacks and being involved in the first Midsummer Classic here is very special."

After retiring in 2010, Gonzalez accepted a position with the D-backs as special assistant to team president and CEO Derrick Hall.

Gonzalez's single off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 7 capped a remarkable season that saw him reach career highs in homers (57), RBIs (142), runs scored (128), on-base percentage (.429) and slugging percentage (.688).

A starter in left field for the National League in the 2001 All-Star Game, Gonzalez won the Home Run Derby that year.

Registration for the opportunity to purchase 2011 MLB All-Star ticket strips for the general public is now taking place at allstargame.com and dbacks.com/asg. Each strip includes one ticket to each All-Star Week event at the ballpark, two MLB All-Star FanFest tickets and one official All-Star Game program.

Winners will be selected at random to ensure as many fans as possible have the chance to purchase strips. Date, time and instructions for purchase will be communicated via e-mail to each selected applicant by the end of February. Existing D-backs season ticket holders will receive ticket information by the end of February for their opportunity to purchase ticket strips.

While the All-Star Game itself gets the most attention, there are many other events that go along with hosting the event.

There will be the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day and the State Farm Home Run Derby on July 11 and the Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, which features the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game, on July 10.

MLB will also hold an All-Star FanFest from July 8-12 at the Phoenix Convention Center across the street from Chase Field.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.