We can be very critical of Major League Baseball at times and we pick around the edges of the MLB All-Star Game. We complain about how long the Home Run Derby is, about the amount of All-Stars who declined invitations and about the World Series home field advantage that is tied to the outcome of an exhibition game.
One thing that MLB got absolutely right was the choice of David Hernandez to take the mound with legend Joe Garagiola Sr. to throw out the first pitch at the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Arizona.
Hernandez was a 20-year-old intern working for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords on the morning of the tragic Tucson shootings and was credited with helping to save her life in a tremendous act of bravery as he ran towards the gunfire to give first aid.
Hernandez was on Fox News with Shepard Smith talking about the first pitch honor.
"I've been practicing. I actually got a chance to work with one of our staffers in the parking lot of the congressional office...so hopefully, no bouncing," Hernandez said about his preparation to throw out the first pitch.
Not only does the choice of Hernandez honor his actions and serve as a tribute to the victims of the Tucson shooting, but his own story is compelling.
The University of Arizona student is openly gay and a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues and he's an advocate for gun control as a result of this incident. In conservative Arizona, those are not always the most popular positions to hold.
Here's the full Fox News interview with Daniel Hernandez:
Arizona should be proud to have Daniel Hernandez on the mound.