PHOENIX -- The record shows that Tuesday marked Troy Tulowitzki's second time as an All-Star. And in fact, a year ago Tulowitzki did make the trip to Anaheim. He participated in the festivities.
But it wasn't the same as what he got to experience at Chase Field this year. Tulowitzki actually played in the 2011 All-Star Game. A year after he missed the Midsummer Classic due to injury, Tulowitzki started and even picked up his first All-Star Game hit in the National League's 5-1 victory over their American League counterparts. Best of all, he did it all in another win.
It was a fairly brief game debut for the Rockies star, who gave way in the bottom of the fifth to pinch-runner and Cubs first-time All-Star Starlin Castro. But it capped a thoroughly enjoyable week for one of the game's most exciting talents.
"Two for two, for myself," he said. "Two All-Star Games, two wins is pretty cool, especially after the National League has had a drought. To come here and be part of two winning teams now is something I'll always remember."
Tulowitzki's second All-Star Game experience allowed him a little more room to breathe than his first trip to the Midsummer Classic. A year ago, in his first trip to the game, Tulowitzki had the feeling familiar to many first-time All-Stars: It was a bit overwhelming. But that didn't mean he was just letting everything fall by the wayside.
"Each place has its different stuff that you want to take in," he said. "I think just being in the locker room with some of the best players around is something I'll remember."
Tulowitzki was spared the grief that Arizona fans gave to many of their team's National League West rivals. In fact, he even heard a little bit of the "Tu-lo" chant that often echoes through Coors Field.
It wasn't a home game, but that was still a nice touch.
In his first official All-Star at-bat, Tulowitzki flied out to center field against Mariners rookie sensation Michael Pineda -- more than his teammates could manage, as both Scott Rolen and Rickie Weeks struck out against the right-hander.
Tulowitzki then led off the fifth, singling to center off Angels closer Jordan Walden. Castro took his place at first base, and Tulowitzki's first All-Star Game was in the books.
"Both guys that I faced have big fastballs," he said. "I knew I had my hands full. Pineda has great stuff. He's had a phenomenal year and he has a bright future ahead of him."
As Tulowitzki packed up and prepared for a late-night flight to Denver, he knew he'd wrapped up a week he would remember for a long time. He'd already been an All-Star, and he'd already been a winner, but this one was definitely different.
"It's cool," he said. "To play a couple innings and to get two at-bats was neat, especially my first time playing. It's always better playing than watching."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.