Ethier grew up in Phoenix, graduating from St. Mary's High, about four blocks from Chase Field. And Kendrick makes his off-season home in Arizona, where much of his wife's family lives.
"It’s unbelievable," said Ethier, named to the National League team as a late replacement for the Phillies' Shane Victorino. "I made my major league debut here. And now the first All-Star game -- the only All-Star game that’s ever been here in Arizona -– I happen to be in the major leagues and . . . playing good enough to be in it."
Ethier, who can be moody at times, never stopped grinning during the NL's 50-minute session with the media Monday.
"I smile a lot when I'm in my backyard playing Whiffle ball with my kids. This is my backyard," he said. "I grew up two miles from the ballpark. I grew up right in this area. It’s awesome to be here and be a part of this."
Kendrick, voted onto the American League team by his peers, said former Angel Tim Salmon advised him to take time to enjoy the event.
"He said, 'Make sure you take a lot of pictures,' " Kendrick said. "It’s definitely something that I get to enjoy with a lot of people that I love. And I'm happy that they’re going to be able to experience it with me."
--Kevin Baxter in Phoenix
Photo: American League All-Star Howie Kendrick #47 of the Los Angeles Angels. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images