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Vazquez honored to be part of All-Star Game

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- There is one member of the Rangers who will be active at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Miami.

Rangers strength and conditioning coach Jose Vazquez will be a part of the American League staff, helping the players get stretched out and physically prepared for the game.

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ARLINGTON -- There is one member of the Rangers who will be active at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Miami.

Rangers strength and conditioning coach Jose Vazquez will be a part of the American League staff, helping the players get stretched out and physically prepared for the game.

View Full Game Coverage

Vazquez said he is honored to have been asked. But for him, it's more important that strength and conditioning coaches are being asked to be a bigger part of the All-Star Game.

"It's something that's new," Vazquez said. "It started in 2012 when strength coaches began to get recognized. That year they only chose one guy to represent both leagues. Now they have a guy for each team. It's come a long way in five years."

A few clubs started using strength and coaching coaches in the 1980's, but it wasn't until 2005 that Major League Baseball required all teams to have one.

"We are finally getting the recognition we deserve," Vazquez said. "It's something I believe that is greater for the profession."

Vazquez's duties in Miami won't be that extensive beyond pre-game stretching.

"As a courtesy, we sent out an email to all the strength coaches in the American League, if there is anything special I need to know," Vazquez said. "Other than that, just show up and see what they like to do."

Of course, if Aaron Judge or anybody else wants to learn about jiu jitsu, Vazquez will be more than happy to help them. He earned his black belt last offseason.

"Hopefully I don't need it," Vazquez said. "Two things that have been a constant in my life are martial arts and baseball. Martial arts took a backseat when I played, I had to put it on the back burner. But when I could no longer play baseball, I could start taking that up again. It was more of a personal quest for me to pursue a black belt it in jui jitsu because it's a very demanding martial art."

So is Vazquez's job and it runs year-round. Vazquez is in charge of the strength and conditioning for all Rangers players and it doesn't stop when the season ends. Most players only take a few weeks off and then get right back at it with Vazquez at their side.

This is his 12th season on the job. He has a degree in education and a Master's in Physical Therapy. He played baseball at the University of Tennessee and spent three seasons in the Cardinals organization. He was the MLB Strength Coach of the Year in 2014.

"He means a lot to us," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "He is always reading up on the latest stuff in strength and conditioning, and always getting the best information to keep us strong and healthy, and make us better players."

Vazquez takes his job seriously, but plans to enjoy his time in Miami, where he went to high school and junior college. His son Kian, 6, will be with him.

"Right now, he is really into baseball," Vazquez said. "Just to see the smile on his face, just to know that he is doing this with me, it means a lot to me.

"First time, I am like a kid in the candy store. Happy to be there, happy that I got invited. It's an honor for me and the profession."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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