All-Stars Kintzler, Dickerson reunite in Miami

February 7th, 2020

MIAMI -- At the 2017 All-Star Game held at Marlins Park, and were teammates on the American League squad.

Kintzler, then a reliever with the Twins, and Dickerson, a member of the Rays, attended their first Midsummer Classic.

“I remember being very nervous, and I remember standing on the line with my name being introduced,” Kintzler said of his 2017 All-Star experience. “I think that’s something we all dream of. There was a sold-out crowd. It was awesome seeing that stadium sold out. There was an epic Home Run Derby [won by Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge]. That crowd was so loud. Hopefully, we can make that happen again.”

The two veterans are teammates once again, this time with the Marlins. And on Friday morning, they donned their new jerseys and participated in the organization’s Making An Impact In the South Florida Community Day.

Throughout the day, dozens of Marlins players visited numerous schools in Miami-Dade County. Kintzler and Dickerson were part of a group that spent time with students at Kensington Park Elementary, located just blocks away from Marlins Park.

“For a new guy like me, it’s a good opportunity to be with my teammates,” Kintzler said. “I got to spend like three days with guys in a non-baseball setting. You get a chance to relax, and you get to know the community, and you get to know what the culture is like around here.”

Kintzler, who pitched for the Cubs in 2019, signed as a free agent for $3.25 million. He is considered the front-runner to close for Miami in '20.

The 35-year-old Kintzler has 49 career saves, with 29 coming in his All-Star 2017 season. The right-hander says he is unsure of what role he will have.

“I think that will play itself out,” Kintzler said. “They didn’t really say what roles they wanted me to be part of. My job is to be in the bullpen and whatever happens, happens, and I think all the roles will play themselves out by the end of Spring Training.”

Dickerson, 30, signed a two-year, $17.5 million contract with the Marlins, and he projects to be the everyday left fielder.

“I look forward to this year and bonding with these guys, and getting to know them, and making something special happen,” said the outfielder, who was with the Pirates and Phillies last year.

At Friday morning's event, Kintzler and Dickerson interacted with the students, playing catch and working with them hitting off a tee.

Friday’s community day for the Marlins leads into FanFest, set for Saturday from 3-7 p.m. ET at Marlins Park.

Spring Training starts with pitchers and catchers’ workouts on Wednesday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla., and full-squad practices get underway on Feb. 17.

Dickerson is one of the key offseason pickups for the Marlins. A left-handed hitter with power potential, he hit .304 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs in 78 games last year. In his 2017 All-Star campaign, Dickerson belted a personal-best 27 home runs.

Days like Friday and FanFest are opportunities for Marlins players to get acquainted with each other before they get down to the business of playing baseball.

“I try to invest my time with the guys and have conversations where I get to know their personalities so you know how to approach them,” Dickerson said. “You have to approach different guys in different ways. Some guys might take things personally. Some guys you can talk to more directly. That’s very important in a team sport.

“So I look for those attributes in each one of my teammates, so as the season goes on, they know me, and they’re willing to approach me in a certain way. And I’m willing to confront them in certain ways, good or bad. I think that takes a little bit of time, so you have to invest that in your guys.”