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My Valley of the Sun: Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks

“America’s First Baseman” dishes on his favorite Valley hangouts and what it’s like to play for the D-Backs.

Paul “Goldy” Goldschmidt joined the Arizona Diamondbacks in the summer of 2011 and is often referred to as “America’s First Baseman.” The two-time MLB All-Star (2013 and 2014) remains humble about his success on the team, and even graduated with his bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix in September 2013. Goldy met his wife Amy during college at Texas State, and the couple stays active around the Valley—from hiking to volunteering at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Going into your fifth season with the Diamondbacks, what are the team dynamics like this year compared to previous seasons. What are you most excited about?

There are a lot of new faces, both players and coaches, and it is a talented team. I’m looking forward to what we can do on the field this year. 

Are there any players who you have been star-struck to play with or against?

It was neat to see Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera at the All-Star Game, knowing it was their last one. 

In your second game playing with the Diamondbacks, you hit a home run against Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants—explain what went through your mind at that moment.

I couldn’t believe that I even had the opportunity and was excited that I was able to help the team in such a close game and make playoffs that year. 

Paul Goldschmidt
(©Jordan Megenhardt/Arizona Diamondbacks)

Have you always played first base?

I played shortstop and second base in high school. My senior year in high school and freshman year in college I played third base, then played first base for the rest of college and now. 

Where in Arizona have you taken some awesome, leisurely road trips?

Amy and I have gone on some road trips to Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, and we like to bring the dogs when we can. 

Grand Canyon National Park
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is about a four-hour drive from Phoenix. (©Creative Commons/Moyan Brenn)

What is the best part about having the Valley as your “home base”?

I like the weather and the people here are very friendly. 

Other than your wife Amy, who else is in your family?

We have two golden retrievers named Brinkley and Bentley. 

What is your favorite city to visit for away games and why?

Washington, D.C. I like to sightsee and visit the monuments and museums. 

Lincoln Memorial
Away games in Washington, D.C. sometimes allow time to tour the monuments. (©Creative Commons/John Haslam)

If you weren’t a professional baseball player, what career would you likely have?

I would be working in the banking or finance industry, since that is what my degree is in. 

What is it like seeing a Paul Goldschmidt bobblehead? Where do you display yours?

It’s crazy; I never thought people would want mine. I don’t really display it anywhere. 

What are your pre-game rituals? Any superstitions?

I always drink a cup of coffee before each game and, if we are doing well, I try to do the same thing I did the day before, such as take the same way to the ballpark, same routine, etc. 

Tell us about Goldy’s Fund 4 Kids.

We teamed up with the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation to raise money to benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital through Goldy's Fund 4 Kids. My wife Amy and I frequently visit Phoenix Children's Hospital to comfort children being treated for various medical conditions. We also do bedside visits and play games in the Child Life Zone of PCH. The Zone offers an escape for patients and their families from daily life in the hospital. Goldy's Fund 4 Kids supports programs that continue to lift the spirits of children and their families. There are so many families and kids in need; it is the least we can do by donating both our time and money to help out.

Goldy’s 10 Favorite Things in the Valley of the Sun

1. Dining at The Mission

2. Volunteering at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

3. Hiking Camelback Mountain

4. Taking the dogs to Chaparral Park

5. Challenging my wife Amy (who is a golfer) at Topgolf

6. Grabbing breakfast at Butters

7. Ordering the chopped salad at Citizen Public House

8. Spending an afternoon at Lucky Strike Bowling

9. Picking up lunch at Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market

10. Hiking the trail at Piestewa Peak