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Perez, Conine on hand for opening of FanFest

MLB.com

MIAMI -- Hall of Famer Tony Perez, two-time World Series champion Jeff Conine and Marlins president David Samson each grabbed hold of the scissors to cut the ribbon and officially open the MLB All-Star FanFest in Miami on Friday morning.

Perez and Conine, the two MLB All-Star ambassadors for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, also signed the world's largest baseball, a 13-foot-high ball covered with autographs from numerous Hall of Famers and past ambassadors, to commence the festivities.

MIAMI -- Hall of Famer Tony Perez, two-time World Series champion Jeff Conine and Marlins president David Samson each grabbed hold of the scissors to cut the ribbon and officially open the MLB All-Star FanFest in Miami on Friday morning.

Perez and Conine, the two MLB All-Star ambassadors for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, also signed the world's largest baseball, a 13-foot-high ball covered with autographs from numerous Hall of Famers and past ambassadors, to commence the festivities.

The annual five-day event, which runs until Tuesday at the Miami Beach Convention Center, features activities, games, auctions and chances to meet and work with former MLB players.

2017 MLB All-Star FanFest info

Conine, a two-time All-Star during his 17-year career, held a baseball clinic and participated in a Q&A session. The longtime Marlins outfielder and 1997 and 2003 World Series champion fielded questions, such as which of the six teams he played for was his favorite. Conine didn't hesitate to pick the Marlins.

"Like I said, it's all about the jewelry, right?" Conine said.

Perez was also actively engaged with fans. The two-time World Series champion and seven-time All-Star took photos with guests and partook in a Q&A session as well.

One fan of the member of the Big Red Machine in the 1970s was Nathan Cohen. The 67-year-old flew in from New York specifically for the chance to meet guys like Perez and Conine.

"It's great," Cohen said. "I can't stay for the game because I've gotta be back Monday. It's great. I like doing this. I did it in New York. I did it in Arizona. You get to see a lot of people, meet a lot of people."

FanFest will run until the end of MLB All-Star Week, which includes festivities such as the 88th All-Star Game at Marlins Park on Tuesday, All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday and other events taking place around Miami.

On Tuesday 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.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.