SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black never made the All-Star Game during his 15-year career as a pitcher, but he was a part of the All-Star coaching staff in 2003, '08 and 2010.
"They're all different, and all great," Black said. "They really were."
After winning the World Series with the Angels as a pitching coach in 2002, Black and the rest of the Angels' staff coached in the 2003 All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Angels left fielder Garret Anderson won the Home Run Derby and was named Most Valuable Player of the game, making the 2003 game even more memorable for Black.
Black's American League team also won that year, 7-6, behind a two-run eighth-inning home run by the Rangers' Hank Blalock. Anderson went 3-for-4 in the game with two RBIs and a run scored.
"That was fun. It was a great game," Black said. "It came down to the last inning and the American League won."
After seven seasons with the Angels, Black started managing the Padres in 2007. In 2008, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle selected Black and Mets manager Willie Randolph for his staff for the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. After being fired on June 16, Randolph was replaced by the Cubs' Lou Piniella.
"Wonderful, wonderful place to be," Black said. "New York for an All-Star Game -- it really did it up."
The National League lost in 15 innings, 4-3. The game lasted four hours and 50 minutes, the longest All-Star Game in history.
"New York did a great job of hosting," Black said. "Yankee Stadium was in its last year, and that was so memorable."
Black got the chance to return to Anaheim in 2010 after being selected for the All-Star Game coaching staff by Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel. The Padres sent closer Heath Bell and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the game. The NL won that game for the first time since 1996 by a score of 3-1.
Coaching the All-Star team hasn't ever been stressful for Black, even with all the lineup moves that need to be made in an All-Star Game.
"We're all competitive," Black said. "The players are great. They're all ready to go."
He said he's been extremely fortunate to have coached in three games, and it's the quality of the players of themselves that make each of his three All-Star coaching appearances special.
"I think just the star quality of the event is what makes it," Black said.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com.