"Of course, I wanted to play, but this was my first All-Star Game, and it was a great experience," he said. "Being around all of these All-Stars and taking batting practice with them is awesome. I learned a lot from Scutaro and Carlos Beltran, who told me what kind of routine he does to be that kind of hitter."
Cabrera also left with an armful of souvenirs, including the nameplate from his locker and the sign bearing his name from Monday's media session, covered in autographs.
The speedy switch-hitter was the Padres' lone selection to the All-Star Game, handpicked by NL manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants because of his stellar first half. Cabrera currently leads the league with 34 stolen bases, has a .291 batting average and a .984 fielding percentage to boot.
This season has been a huge improvement over 2012, when Cabrera lead the league in stolen bases but had limited success elsewhere. He hit just .246 with a .648 OPS in the 115 games he played.
Despite the less than stellar year, Cabrera told friends and family at home in Nicaragua last offseason that he would be an All-Star this year. He spent his winter working on his defense and hitting from both sides of the plate, and became the first Padres position player to make the All-Star Game since Adrian Gonzalez in 2010 and the first shortstop since Tony Fernandez in 1992.
Lindsay Berra is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @lindsayberra. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.