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Hank Blalock's postgame comments07/16/2003 12:34 AM ET
Q: You're the 12th guy in All-Star history to hit a home run in his first All-Star at-bat. What's the feeling going through your mind?
Hank Blalock: It's really just still sinking in right now. It's an unbelievable feeling in my first All-Star Game to really get up there and make a difference for the American League.
Q: In your wildest dreams, did you imagine this?
Blalock: I'm happy to be in the All-Star Game first of all, and to be able to do this is icing on the cake.
Q: How does it feel that the American League will have home-field advantage in the World Series?
Blalock: I'm really happy about that. Certainly, our guys in the clubhouse are going to be in the World Series, so I'm glad that I could help them out.
Q: You talked earlier about the game, about possibly not getting in the game at all. What was your mindset as the game progressed? Did you think you would at least pinch-hit?
Blalock: I'm always a guy, if I'm not in the starting lineup, I'm always antsy to get in the game. They told me since about the fourth or fifth inning, always be ready to go in for third base. I was just kind of staying loose and ended up getting called on, obviously, in the bottom of the eighth.
Q: When you walked up to the plate, what was going through your mind at that point, and what were you looking for?
Blalock: Well, [Vernon Wells] just got on second base, so I was trying to hit a single. That's all I was trying to do. Fortunately, I worked myself into a good count where I could get something to hit.
Q: [Eric] Gagne is tough most of the time and never has innings like he had that particular inning. What did you hit and what was the pitch?
Blalock: I knew he had a good changeup. I never faced him before, but I knew he had a good changeup and obviously a good fastball. He threw me some changeups and a couple fastballs and I ended up hitting the fastball.
Q: You were with the Rangers. There were great accolades for the Rangers. How do you feel about that?
Blalock: It makes me feel good to be able to play hard and earn the respect of the rest of the players and fans.
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