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July 13, 1999

Nomar Garciaparra

Mark McGwire


Q. I know you've met Ted before, and you've had the opportunity to talk with him, but to see what happened tonight, at the beginning of the game, just talk about what you were feeling?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: It was great. I think just all the electricity. They talk about Fenway and the tradition. When he brought all those players of the Century first of all, you can really feel that and the electricity in the air, and the fans appreciating all of baseball, what it's brought, the joy to everybody. And when you have Ted Williams come out, throw out the first pitch, and I thought it was nice the way everybody surrounded him. It was kind of funny to announce, can people please go to their dugout, and everybody said no. Nobody wanted to leave. It didn't matter. What time was the first pitch, it didn't matter. Every baseball player, it was just one of those things where they appreciated the game, and understanding there's a tradition and we are a part of it. That was a special moment.

Q. Would you talk a little about the press attention you got being selected over Derek Jeter, being elected, I should say over Derek Jeter?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: To me, press or whatever they're going to do, they're going to make a big deal. I said about who deserves it, who's going to be out there, I don't decide. I think everybody deserves to be an All-Star, to be honest with you. We're the best in the world, and we're all All-Stars. So to me any person, any player in the Big Leagues in the Major Leagues can be on the All-Star Team.

Q. You haven't played in a couple of weeks, how did you feel out there tonight?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: I felt good. I felt really good. Like I said, if it wasn't during the All-Star break, and we had a game yesterday I was going to be in the starting line-up. I felt great, and everything is going along great. And I'm looking forward to getting back out and starting the second half on Thursday.

Q. Could you talk about what was said to Ted in that pregame, and what was said to the players?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: I couldn't hear everybody coming up to him, because obviously there was so many cheers and so many things going on around. When he was talking to certain individuals, people saying, hi, I couldn't hear him. I said Ted, how is everything? And he said, Nomar, how is everything going? I said it's so good to see you. He said we'll definitely be talking, and I'll see you again. And I said that's for sure. As far as what everybody said, I don't know. I pretty much remember everything he says when he talks, though.

Q. Nomar, I was wondering how much you appreciated what Joe did, giving you an opportunity to get a couple of at-bats, and come out on your home field?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: I think that just shows what a class guy he is, really. It really is. When he told me what he was going to do and I said, I was like, wow, that's -- thank you. I just said thank you. That just shows what a class kind of person he is, and I'm sure everybody has seen that before, and he just continues to do it. And I thanked him over and over again.

Q. Mark, you and Ted had a little bit of a conversation back and forth, would you mind sharing what was said?

MARK McGWIRE: He said he's been wanting to ask me a question. When I foul a ball off, do I smell burnt wood? And I said, "All the time." You do. So that's what he said.

Q. You've stood behind Pedro and watched him pitch this year, is tonight about as good as you've seen him pitch?

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: What you saw is Pedro, that's what we saw all the time.

MARK McGWIRE: Just be thankful you don't have to face him.

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: I say go get them, and I'm not going up there. No, that's him. That was him. That's what you saw. So any different -- I'm sure he had adrenaline going, but he loves to pitch in front of the crowd, just like we all like to play in front of him. They went out and did what he does best.

Q. (Inaudible.)

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA: He takes the ball out of a lot of guys hands. I got to face him in '97, in Montreal before he was traded or signed as a free agent. And he's got the best lively arm in the game of baseball. He just -- he's got three pitches that are devastating, and what can you say? He's a very, very good chance to win 30 or more.

Q. Can you talk about how you just wanted to hit one ball good in the All-Star Game, and go away still not having done that?

MARK McGWIRE: I hit some good yesterday. I get my two strikeouts every All-Star Game I get up. When you see the best of the best, you know you're really not going to get -- he's going to go right at you with nasty stuff. And facing Pedro and Coney, and Mussina went right at me with a fastball. And I thought I hit him, but I guess I didn't. So that's what happens. It's very rare that you see a high-scoring game here in the All-Stars, because you see the best of the best.

Q. Last September was very emotional for you, where does this rank emotionally for you, seeing Ted Williams and everything that's going on today?

MARK McGWIRE: You know, there was a lot of guys out there that were teared up. The Hall of Famers out there, and the All-Stars, when you see Ted Williams and he has tears running down his eyes, it's an emotional time. And what a man. He's loved in Boston, loved all over baseball.

Q. In your at-bats, were you trying to swing for the fence or just get a base hit?

MARK McGWIRE: Just trying to hit the ball. I don't swing for fences, it just happens.

Q. Mark, did you talk to Sammy at all in the dugout or get a chance to connect tonight during the break in the action?

MARK McGWIRE: No, we did talk before the game, just normal stuff, nothing new. When you're playing the game you don't really have time to chat. You're concentrating on the guy that's on the mound.

Q. Mark, what's your biggest thrill this weekend, was it 13 last night or meeting Ted tonight?

MARK McGWIRE: I'd have to go with Ted and the 13 home runs yesterday. When you have a chance to meet probably one of the best hitters in the game and you see tears running down his eyes for the appreciation of the fans and all of us gave him, it's quite a special time. And I'm just happy he knows who I am, and he talked to me.

Q. Mark, you played with Oakland, what do you think of Fenway and it if it's on its way out, what will you remember?

MARK McGWIRE: I have a lot of memories here, it's one of the best ballparks to play in, so much history. I've always thought that -- it amazes me that they let it run down to the point they can't refurbish it. I think the best thing they should have done ten years ago is start refurbishing this place, and change things up underneath. And you wouldn't have to demolish it and build a new one. But you let it go, and unfortunately they're going to have to build a new one. It's definitely a place in history in baseball, just like Tiger Stadium. I'm going to be sorry to see it go.

Q. Mark, did you take a pocketful of dirt or grass or something like Larry Walker did?

MARK McGWIRE: I don't know. When are they going to knock this down, what year? I didn't think about that. Maybe I'll go back out there. That's a thing to think about. The Tiger organization, they gave me a seat from their stadium, they were kind to do that, that was the first place I had my first home run in 1986. They were very nice, they gave me a seat that had the number 25 on it.

End of FastScripts….

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