EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 30, 2013

All-Star Gonzalez talks Griffey Jr., cars, soccer and more

Meet Colorado Rockies star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.

His breakout year was 2010 when he finished third in the National League MVP voting and won a Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger award.

That year, he led the NL with a .336 batting average and belted 34 homers and drove in 117 runs.

He was named to the All-Star team last year and has won two Gold Gloves.

The left-handed power hitter from Venezuela was batting .297 with a .365 on-base percentage and .605 slugging percentage entering Friday. He also was leading the NL with 21 homers and 62 runs.

Gonzalez recently went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune baseball reporter Christopher “Smitty” Smith.

Smitty: I’ve heard your favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr.

Gonzalez: Just growing up watching Griffey when he was with the Mariners, he was amazing. He was a fun guy to watch. And I remember growing up in Venezuela, how the time is so different. In Seattle, it’s three hours different. So I used to tell my mom before I go to bed, “Every time that Griffey steps on the plate just make sure you wake me up because I want to see every at-bat.”

And I had the opportunity to meet him in 2008 when he was playing for Chicago. And then last year, we have a Nike trip and I spent a lot of time with him playing golf.

Smitty: What do you talk about?

Gonzalez: Griffey is one of those guys that everything that he did was pretty much natural. He didn’t work out. He didn’t lift a lot or (watch) video or anything. He just stepped on the plate and did it all natural. For me, I kind of try to do the same way. I’m not a big video guy. I’m not a big lifting guy. So I just go out there and have fun like I always do it when I was a kid.

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