In terms of star power, fans in the Valley have been rather starved of late.
Outside of Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) and Diana Taurasi (Mercury), that once-in-a-decade player — the kind that’s worth the price of admission — has been hard to come by.
But fresh of his new five-year, $32 million extension, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has looked every bit the part of a star in 2013.
Through 42 games this season, the 25-year-old is batting .338 with 12 home runs (second in the NL) and 35 RBI (second in the NL). He also has just two errors in over 390 total chances.
“You can already see how popular he is, and it’s not from personality,” D-backs president Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday. “He just goes out and plays the game. Some may say he should be even more outgoing, well I wouldn’t want that because that’s not who he is.
“He’s one of those guys where if he’s up at the plate, you know something can and will probably happen.”
While Goldschmidt is mild-mannered and doesn’t seek a lot of attention from media or fans, Hall believes what makes him so unique is that he’s never tried to be something he’s not since being called up in 2011.
“(Face of the franchise) is different for different personalities,” said Hall. “For him, if he were the face of the franchise — and I would say our fans would like to make him the face of the franchise — you’re going to have a different face of the franchise because he’s just that, safe.
“That’s who he is. He’s a throwback player who just likes to play the game. He will never admire one of his home run shots, instead he’s going to put his head down and run faster around the bases.”
According to Hall, whether Goldschmidt is the face of the franchise right now or not, one thing is certain: he’s an even better person than he is a player.
“You want the face of your franchise to be a good steward in the community and off the field, and that’s who Paul Goldschmidt is,” said Hall. “When I got phone calls from Phoenix Children’s Hospital this off-season saying that Goldy was going on his own every week to visit kids in the hospital alone — not with our staff, not promoted, not with media but just himself — love the kid.”