ATLANTA -- The 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix gave D-backs manager Kirk Gibson a chance to finally experience what the Midsummer Classic was like first hand.
As a player, Gibson turned down All-Star selections in 1985 and '88, much to the dismay of his late father, Robert.
"The whole event just wasn't who I was," Gibson said. "I was a total team guy. There's a makeup inside of me that doesn't want any individual acknowledgement. When the World Series is over, fine, then let's talk about that stuff. But up to that point? No. It's a mechanism inside of me. I was a team-oriented guy and I played all out every day, so the three days we had, I was going to take three days and chill and get ready for my team."
But when Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who was manager of the 2011 National League All-Star team, asked Gibson to be a part of his coaching staff, he did not hesitate.
Prior to his death more than a decade ago, Robert Gibson told his son not to pass up another opportunity.
"When I was asked, the first thing I thought about it was, 'Dad, you're going to get your wish,'" Gibson said. "It does make me feel good that I fulfilled that wish for him."
Gibson is cerebral, always looking for an edge of any kind, and he used the time at the 2011 All-Star Game to pick the brains of some of the game's best players for anything that might help the D-backs.
"Just being able to talk to everybody," Gibson said of his best All-Star Game memory. "What I found out: everybody doesn't look at it the same, and whatever works for you is the best way to go, and I think it encourages people to be creative."
And if he hadn't gotten to serve as a coach in 2011, what would his memory have been?
"Me declining them like an idiot," he said with a smile.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.