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It's not every day a star comes to town

Stefan Arnsberg wasn't going to waste this opportunity.

The Golden Valley junior sat on the grass of the baseball field with the rest of his teammates and listened to their guest speaker.

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had their attention the moment he stepped on the diamond.

"You don't get an opportunity like this very much," Arnsberg said.

"I just listened to what he said. It's pretty special to have him out here in this kind of setting."

Tulowitzki talked for over an hour to players in the GV program about hitting, defense, the mental side of baseball, staying away from steroids and life in general.

"It was just exciting," said Golden Valley coach Scott Hague. "It was like Merry Christmas to us.

"Here's someone that was just in the World Series. He just played in the biggest show there is in baseball."

Former Merced College coach Butch Hughes -- who now works for the Modesto Nuts -- coached Tulowitzki when he played for the Nuts in 2005.

Hughes arranged for Tulowitzki to come speak with the team.

The Rockies shortstop hit .291 with 24 home runs and 99 RBIs and finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

He helped the Rockies reach the World Series, where they were swept by the Red Sox.

"The best advice I can give these guys is more about life then baseball," Tulowitzki said.

"It's very unlikely they'll be major league baseball players. But if I can give them something that helps them in life, that's why I come out here."

Tulowitzki told the players what it's like when he goes on the road.

"Everywhere I go, I'm the wannabe Jeter," he said. "It's pretty well known that I grew up liking Derek Jeter."

He talked about what it was like going from high school to Long Beach State to the minors and eventually Colorado.

He also pointed to a palm tree beyond the outfield fence. Tulowitzki finds a focal point in every stadium he plays in.

It's a spot he can look at to regain focus if things ever go bad during a game.

"I think we'll always be looking at that palm tree," Hague said.

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