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Miami heats up, rolls out Red Carpet for All-Stars

MLB.com

MIAMI -- Yadier Molina loves a parade. For the eighth time in the last nine years, he rode in the back of a truck with his family on Tuesday in the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet. It marked the most such trips by any player on this route through downtown Miami, going back to his first Midsummer Classic at home in St. Louis in 2009.

"It's fun, especially for my kids," the Cardinals catcher and National League reserve said as he sat at his locker before batting practice. "They have a blast every time they do it. It's fun to see the different kind of fans -- a fan from Milwaukee, a fan from New York, and they're clapping for you. It's a great moment. It's fun."

MIAMI -- Yadier Molina loves a parade. For the eighth time in the last nine years, he rode in the back of a truck with his family on Tuesday in the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet. It marked the most such trips by any player on this route through downtown Miami, going back to his first Midsummer Classic at home in St. Louis in 2009.

"It's fun, especially for my kids," the Cardinals catcher and National League reserve said as he sat at his locker before batting practice. "They have a blast every time they do it. It's fun to see the different kind of fans -- a fan from Milwaukee, a fan from New York, and they're clapping for you. It's a great moment. It's fun."

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

This 13th-annual cavalcade of All-Stars, free to the public, started at the Intercontinental Hotel at Bayfront Park. It traveled north along Biscayne Boulevard, ending near NE 8th Street, as the players and managers rode in red, white and blue Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado vehicles.

For fans who braved the heat and humidity, it was a unique chance to get up close and personal with your favorite players before they arrived at the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard over at nearby Marlins Park.

Charlie Blackmon, the NL's leadoff hitter and center fielder from the Rockies, rode along with his mother, father, sister and girlfriend. It was his second such parade, the other through downtown Minneapolis three summers ago.

Tweet from @Rockies: There's a strong chance that Chuck is wearing the same shirt as 2014.#ASGRedCarpet ���� pic.twitter.com/UXQW4aYDin

"It's great to see that fan-player interaction," Blackmon said. "They don't get to see a lot of the inner workings of baseball, so it's nice to include them in something. It was a very well-run parade, and I felt like all the players were well received."

Like Blackmon, Dodgers rookie outfielder Cody Bellinger was coming off an appearance the night before in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. He rode with his mother, father, sister and brother, and tried to make the moment last.

"Last night, I was basically trying not to suck. Today I'm enjoying it, just soaking it in," Bellinger said. "The parade was great. I'm glad my family was there with me. A little hot, but it was cool. You see a bunch of fans up close, it was a good time."

The grand marshals in a pair of Corvettes were Hall of Famer Tony Perez and Jeff Conine, a pair of former All-Star MVPs currently representing the Marlins. NL manager Joe Maddon of the Cubs and American League manager Brad Mills rode Camaro convertibles. Mills, the Indians' bench coach, is taking the place of Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who recently underwent a heart procedure. The Commissioner's Trophy, ready for a 2017 taker, brought up the rear.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub.

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina