Stephanie Salas had a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the 2022 Chevrolet All-Star Play Ball Reporter during All Star Week. A 13-year-old from South Gate, Calif., and a Dodgers fan, Salas had the chance to go to the All-Star Game in her hometown team’s ballpark on Tuesday night and interview some of baseball’s most famous players.
Salas interviewed All-Stars from various MLB teams at media day on July 18, one day before the big game. The group of players included Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
She talked with them about their bling, and asked questions like “What’s your favorite thing about baseball?” and “What is your favorite thing about the All Star [experience]?”
But the highlight of Salas' day came when she interviewed her favorite player, Mookie Betts. A two-time World Series champ and six-time All Star, Salas asked him “hard-hitting” questions, like if his chains gave him confidence. His response was that it gave him some “sway.”
“It was a very awesome experience,” Salas said during a phone interview with MLB.com. “I was really happy.”
One of Salas’ biggest assets that helped her as the Chevy Play Ball Reporter was being bilingual. This gave her the advantage of being able to communicate with players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and other Spanish-speaking countries in their native languages.
One of her favorite interviews was with Tigers 12-time All Star slugger Miguel Cabrera. She conversed with him in both English and Spanish.
She asked him, “Out of all your career accomplishments, which one are you most proud of?” He responded: “3,000 hits. It was a dream, and now it’s a dream come true. I’m really happy and I’m really proud of what I did."
Salas appreciated Cabrera's authenticity in the exchange.
“He was really funny,” she said. ”When it comes to talking to kids, he was just himself.”
After media day, Salas attended her first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Under the L.A. lights, the stars shone bright at baseball’s greatest star-studded event of the year.
Salas had many great experiences at the game, but one in particular stood out.
“My favorite experience was running [on the field] with the coach from the American League [Astros manager Dusty Baker].”
Throughout her time as a teenage reporter, Salas has gathered many life lessons.
“I feel like I’ve learned to take opportunities because you don’t get these opportunities once in a while. This opportunity was really big for me,” she said.
The future for Stephanie Salas is bright as she joins the next generation of females in baseball who continue to make a lasting impact.
Anna Laible, 17, hosts a podcast called Speak Up Sports, and writes as a Kid Reporter for Sports Illustrated Kids.