MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez appeared in his first All-Star Game as one of baseball's best young arms as Major League Baseball bid farewell to one of its greatest in Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
The all-time saves leader took the field alone in the eighth to sounds of "Enter Sandman," a moment Fernandez said he will never forget.
"It was incredible," Fernandez said. "I think that he deserves that and more than that. Everybody respects him in the game. Everybody knows who he is. He's consistent. And that's what you want to be in this game.
"You want to be respected. You want all of the respect from everybody and go out there and do what you do. I really look up to him, and it was incredible. It was incredible. … I think that was the best part of my experience in the All-Star Game."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who spent part of the All-Star break with former Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell, said the two discussed Rivera's tribute. Redmond believed letting Rivera take the field alone was a special honor for the future Hall of Famer.
"That stuff just doesn't happen in the game," Redmond said. "For that moment to happen where everyone walks off the field and truly gives a guy the spotlight, I've never seen that before.
"I think that was a testament to not only the pitcher he is, but the person and the competitor and the way that he carried himself so humbly throughout his career. Just went out there, did his job. He's just a great role model and great ambassador for the game of baseball. This guy did it all. He did it right. He's a Hall of Famer."
Left fielder Juan Pierre, the only current Marlins player who has faced Rivera, said how the Yankees closer was treated is not standard for great players.
"You don't honor a person that's a jerk and all that stuff even if he does have good numbers," Pierre said. "[Rivera's] a class person, and you can see how guys respond to him, the peers of him and the older generation. It's good to see a guy like him that's done things by the book, does things right and get honored for it."
Fernandez excels in first All-Star experience
MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez both faced and joined elite talent with his perfect inning of relief for the National League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.
By fanning MLB home run leader Chris Davis and former American League Most Valuable Player Award winner Dustin Pedroia, Fernandez joined Hall of Famers Dwight Gooden and Bob Feller as the only hurlers younger than 21 to record two or more strikeouts in an All-Star Game.
Fernandez also got Triple Crown winner and former Marlin Miguel Cabrera to pop out in foul territory, clocking in at 98 mph on three fastballs to the Tigers slugger.
"I know they can hit the ball," Fernandez said. "I was just trying to make good pitches and not overdo stuff."
The 20-year-old rookie impressed on baseball's biggest stage outside of October, blazing through the heart of the AL order and showcasing the talent that has made him one of the sport's best young arms.
But for those who spend nearly every day with Fernandez, the Cuban-born pitcher's performance at Citi Field was nothing new.
"That doesn't surprise me, the kind of stuff he has," left fielder Juan Pierre said. "I know he was probably extra hyped. Probably hit 97, 98 maybe on the gun."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond added: "His stuff was just nasty. I haven't gotten a chance to watch him much on TV, because I get to watch him in person, but his stuff on TV was pretty nasty."
While he did not get the chance to meet his favorite player, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, Fernandez was thrilled to mingle with baseball's best. He said interacting with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, Phillies southpaw Cliff Lee and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano were highlights.
"Meeting all those guys was incredible in person," Fernandez said. "I think I learned a lot from it. Being around them and talking to them and stuff was very nice."
While Fernandez enjoyed the time he spent among the All-Stars, the person he was happiest to share his experience with was his mother.
"She was enjoying it," Fernandez said. "We stayed in the same room talking until 2 or 3 in the morning every day. It was just incredible. Incredible."
Now that he has enjoyed one All-Star weekend, Fernandez said he would love to go back again in future seasons. But he views potential future selections as more than individual prizes.
"I would love to do it every year," Fernandez said. "If I'm making the All-Star Game, then I'm playing good for my team and that's the most important part."
Should Fernandez ever earn the opportunity to start an All-Star Game, he would view the honor as simply an added bonus.
"That would be amazing to start an All-Star Game," Fernandez said. "God knows if that's going to happen. Just being there is amazing."
Interview interrupts Fernandez's All-Star inning
MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez retired two former American League Most Valuable Player Award winners and the Majors' leading home run hitter in order during Tuesday night's All-Star Game, but the 20-year-old rookie's historic performance was forced to share screen time.
As Fernandez joined Hall of Famers Dwight Gooden and Bob Feller as the only starting pitchers younger than 21 to record two or more strikeouts in an All-Star Game, FOX announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver conducted a split-screen interview with Pirates closer Jason Grilli.
Several members of the Marlins regretted that the interview took time away from Fernandez's story. Fernandez, who came to the United States from Cuba, has developed into one of the league's best rookie pitchers after never playing higher than Class A.
"It kind of [stunk] you didn't get to see his whole outing from start to finish, but you got to see the results of it," left-handed reliever Mike Dunn said. "He looked good out there and composed. He did his job."
"It was a little disappointing the fact that you have an up-and-coming, rising star in the game, and we didn't really get to learn anything about him," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "I think maybe the fans outside of Miami missed a chance to meet and hear about such an interesting story.
"Look where this kid's come from. Look at how much he's accomplished in his 20 years. Unfortunately, we're the only ones who know about it, and I think they missed an opportunity to promote a young kid with a great story."
Even though the FOX broadcast did not focus much on Fernandez, Redmond believes the rookie's effort in the Midsummer Classic earned him some notice.
"I've heard a couple of guys say that they were pretty impressed with his stuff," Redmond said. "Sometimes you've just got to go out there and you get yourself noticed with the way you pitch and with the way you carry yourself.
"That's all of us. That's the Marlins, really. Nobody's going to go out there and pump us up. We're going to have to go out there and prove to everyone, 'Hey, we're getting better. We're improving, and look at us. Look at what we can do, too.'"
Marlins to host 'Legends of Wrestling Night' in August
MIAMI -- The Marlins will be packing an extra punch when they host the Rockies on August 24. Colorado will visit on Miami's first ever "Legends of Wrestling Night" at Marlins Park.
More than a dozen Hall of Fame legends, former world champions and current professionals will be on hand to sign autographs and engage in postgame wrestling matches.
Former WWE/WCW heavyweight champion Bill Goldberg will throw out the first pitch. The wrestlers will sign autographs during the game for fans on the Promenade Level outside of Section 28.
The trip to South Florida will be familiar territory for former WWF tag team champion Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, former WWF tag team champion Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and current TNA superstar Wes Brisco. All three hail from Tampa.
Wrestlers are subject to change.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.