Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Invites Reggie Smith To Join All-Star Staff
Jae C. Hong-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and 2021 National League All-Star manager Dave Roberts has invited former Dodger and seven-time All-Star Reggie Smith to join his Nation League staff at the Midsummer Classic at Coors Field in Denver.

Roberts has already invited Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black to join the staff in a customary move and mentioned he would be selecting an honorary manager, who we now know is Smith.

Roberts said the conversation when he invited Smith to the staff was emotional and pointed out their close relationship as a reason for the invite.

“I’ve known him for many years and what he did in the game of baseball, what he did off the field, what he has continued to do off the field for the urban youth, shouldn’t go unnoticed,” Roberts said.

“And I think that for us to give an opportunity to connect old versus young players, generations, I think it’s very cool. And when I told him, he got pretty choked up. Reggie is a very humble guy, hasn’t been around the big leagues in quite some time so I just thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring it back and from what I hear from the texts I’ve received, it’s been all received really well, which it should be, and Reggie and his family are thrilled.”

The two became friends quickly when they met around 15-17 years ago while Roberts was still playing and Smith was more than 20 years retired, according to Roberts.

“How it got started, I really don’t know, but a good friend of mine Glen Doshay, former Dodger camper, fantasy camper, kind of put us all together in a group of friends so Reggie and I with our Dodger ties, being black men, just talking baseball and history, we just really have been talking, hitting, we go on a guys trip every year to Jackson Hole. So we kind of really hit it off and I just think for me it just kind of hit me one day where I really felt I wanted him to be a part of the festivities and the baseball world needed to kind of hear Reggie’s story again and when I told him, it was really emotional. He and his wife Rose are gonna be out there in Denver so I just feel honored and blessed that I could do this for him.”

Smith played for the Dodgers from 1977 through 1981 and went to three All-Star Games during that time. In his six years in L.A., outfielder hit .297/.387/.528 with 97 home runs.

Dave Martinez not invited by Roberts

Despite the Washington Nationals winning the World Series in 2019, their manager Dave Martinez did not get to manage in the All-Star Game as it was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Martinez, who was disappointed to not get that opportunity, was not invited by Roberts this season to join the staff despite their close friendship.

“As I read it, it was something he felt he would’ve liked to enjoy with his staff, which I completely understand,” Roberts said. “It certainly wasn’t a slight to Davey as a baseball manager or person I have the utmost respect for. … I think the whole point for Davey is he wanted to share that moment with his staff.”

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