PHOENIX -- In many ways, outfielder Justin Upton has become the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
So it seems only fitting with the All-Star Game in Phoenix this year that the 23-year-old will serve as Major League Baseball's official spokesperson for the 2011 MLB All-Star FanFest, the world's largest interactive baseball fan event.
"I am excited to be a part of All-Star FanFest," Upton said in a statement. "It's basically a baseball theme park for all ages; it's very interactive and brings people closer to the game."
FanFest will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center from July 8-12.
To celebrate the announcement, Upton and MLB All-Star Summer Ambassador Luis Gonzalez will join Major League Baseball in conducting a ticket hunt at six Greater Phoenix locations where fans will have a chance to win a special ticket package to MLB All-Star FanFest. Upton and Gonzalez will be onsite at one of the locations to congratulate a winner.
The Ticket Hunt will launch with a string of clues to be released at 3:30 p.m. MST on Thursday at www.allstargame.com.
"I'm also glad MLB is doing the Ticket Hunt again this year, because it's a really fun way to reward passionate fans," Upton said. "The winners won't be disappointed with the package they receive."
The first eligible fan at each location who finds the MLB All-Star FanFest Ticket Hunt red packages will receive four tickets to all five days of MLB All-Star FanFest, Holiday Inn Priority Pass lane passes enabling them to go to the front of the line for select attractions, food vouchers and a voucher for a baseball autographed by Upton.
The MLB All-Star FanFest Ticket Hunt will be open to all residents of Arizona ages 18 or older. The event will conclude at 7 p.m. MST on Thursday, or when the final red package is found, whichever happens first.
As the official spokesperson for the 2011 MLB All-Star FanFest, Upton will make a variety of appearances on behalf of the event. Players who have served in the role in the past include Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter.
Upton was selected by the D-backs with the first overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and made a rapid rise through the farm system before making his Major League debut at the age of 19 on Aug. 2, 2007.
Less than two years later, Upton was selected to participate in his first All-Star Game.
Upton, a 2009 National League All-Star, and his brother B.J. of the Rays, who was selected No. 2 overall in 2002, are the only pair of brothers to be drafted first and second overall in Major League history.
The D-backs slugger is off to a good start in 2011, hitting .300 with a .391 on-base percentage while slugging .575.
Tuesday night, he displayed his raw power when he blasted a home run off Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter that landed just in front of the Fatburger restaurant, well beyond the left-field wall.
The blast traveled 478 feet, according to the ESPN Stats & Info Group -- the longest homer in the Majors this season and the sixth longest at Chase Field.
Coming to Phoenix for the first time in its history, the Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest will serve as the launch for MLB All-Star Week, which will culminate with the 82nd Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 12, at Chase Field. Among FanFest's attractions are an exhibit from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, batting cages, clinics from Major League legends, free autograph sessions with former D-backs and MLB legends, and memorabilia.
Tickets for Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest are sold on a timed-entry basis, providing fans the ability to reserve the day and time of their choice. Major League Baseball is also offering several discount options, including discounts of $5 off each ticket purchased as part of a Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest Family Pack; these packs are sold in ticket denominations of four to seven.
Two Family Value Packs are available. One consists of four tickets, four Pepsis and four hot dogs, all for $110; and another is a "Buy One Get One Free" offer for one full-ticket price at $30, with the second one free on Friday, July 8.
Tickets for Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest can be purchased at the official All-Star Game web site of Major League Baseball (www.allstargame.com) and the D-backs' official web site (www.dbacks.com/asg).