Most years, there aren’t any other sporting events scheduled on the same day as the Baseball All-Stars Game.This provides baseball’s stars the biggest possible stage on the planet for a single evening and the elite Major Leaguer’s don’t disappoint under all that exposure.
Which Midsummer Classic moment outshines the rest of them? Was it Ray Fosse having his career ended by Pete Rose? Or, was it possibly Cal Ripken Jr. hitting a homerun in his last All-Star game? There’s only one way for you to find out.
What happened: The length of the 79th MLB All-Star game ended after four hours and 50 minutes of play. Considering that Yankee Stadium had hosted numerous four-hour games in the past, how else would it have gone out?
The laborious fifteen inning game concluded when Rangers' shortstop Michael Young hit a sacrifice fly to right field that the Twins' Justin Morneau was able to barely beat out. The AL won the game 4-3, and their twelfth All-Star game in a row.
What happened: Reggie Jackson's two-run homer ended up being the difference in the AL's 6-4 victory over the NL in the 1971 game. What made the home run special was how far it went.
Jackson hit a light tower in right field with a towering blast that traveled an estimated five-hundred and 20 feet. Yowza.
What happened: The AL absolutely walloped the NL in the 1983 game to the tune of 13-3.
The biggest blow in the game was from Angels outfielder Fred Lynn who sent a grand slam into the right field stands in the third inning. To date, Lynn's blast is the only grand slam in the history of the All-Star Game.
What happened: With all 6'10' of him, Randy Johnson was one of the most imposing presences ever to grace a Major League mound. Few understand this better than former Phillie's first baseman John Kruk.
The first pitch of the Kruk at-bat against Johnson was a blazing fastball that was wildly thrown two feet above Kruk's head. The big Phillie was clearly affected by the pitch as he stepped out of the box to collect himself while lightly tapping on his own chest as if to say his heart was about to leap out of it.
Kruk wanted no part of Johnson for the rest of the bat, and struck out in embarrassing fashion.
What happened: Bo Jackson wasted no time proving that he belonged in the AL All-Stars' starting line-up. His home run that led off the game traveled nearly 450 feet.
For the game, Bo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one stolen base. Jackson also made a spectacular catch in left field that saved at least two runs. He was awarded the game's MVP award and the AL defeated the NL 5-3.
What happened: This was supposed to Bud Selig's moment. His Brewers had a new park and were hosting the 2002 All-Star Game. Superstars like Barry Bonds, Ichiro Suzuki, Manny Ramirez, and Sammy Sosa were in attendance and things appeared to be going well throughout.
One play of note was Barry Bonds getting robbed of a home run by then Twins outfielder Torii Hunter via a fantastic catch. The game would then evolve into a seesaw battle that ended up resulting in a tied score after nine innings.
In the 11th inning, both sides ran out of players. It is commonplace that managers will try to use every single one of their players during an All-Star Game. With both team managers not knowing what to do, they, along with the game's umpires consulted Bud Selig who was seated near the on-deck circle in the stands. He didn't know what to do either, and Selig decided that the game would go down as a tie if the NL didn't score in the bottom of the 11th, which they didn't. Despite the fans chanting 'let them play!' ala Bad News Bears, the 7-7 tie became official and there was no MVP awarded.
What happened: As a means to never repeat the 2002 debacle, the 2003 All-Star game marked the first time where the 'Midsummer Classic' was more than just an exhibition game. The league that ended up victorious would receive home field advantage in the World Series.
The NL led the AL for most of the game, and at one point, they held a four-run advantage.
Heading into the eighth inning, the NL was ahead 6-4. In an effort to protect the league, NL manager Dusty Baker brought in Eric Gagne who was perfect during the 2003 regular season converting all 55 of his save opportunities. That didn't stop Hank Blalock from hitting a dramatic three-run homer off of the Dodgers' closer and the AL won the game 7-6. The Yankees ended up getting home field advantage in the World Series that season, but they ended up losing to the Florida Marlins.
What happened: In front of his hometown Fenway crowd, Pedro Martinez made the NL's starting line-up look like a bunch of clowns.
In the first inning, Pedro struck out the side. The batters he faced were Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa. Martinez would then strike out Mark McGwire to begin the second and became the first pitcher ever to strike out the first four batters he faced in an All-Star Game. The NL's Matt Williams would reach on an error, but Pedro erased his fielder's mistake by striking out Jeff Bagwell while Williams attempted to steal second base unsuccessfully. Martinez would win the game's MVP and the AL won 4-1.
What happened: Seventh and eighth inning rallies from the National League tied this particular All-Star Game at five runs a piece and forced the game into extra innings.
Neither team scored until the top of the 12th inning when Stan Musial obliterated the first pitch he saw from Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan. The blast held up, and the National League wound up edging the American League 6-5.
What happened: The 'Midsummer Classic' was given to the world for the first time in July of 1933. Amongst the first group of All-stars were future Hall-of-Famers Al Simmons, Lefty Grove, Lou Gehrg, and Jimmie Foxx. However, the biggest star at the showcase was Babe Ruth. He played like it too.
In the bottom of the third inning, Ruth hit a two-run homerun to make the AL lead 3-0 at that point. When the National League was finally able to make some noise in the later stages of the game, Ruth displayed some fancy glove work to save the day. A deep fly ball in the eighth from the NL's Chick Hafey was headed over the fence and poised to tie the game. The Babe was able to rob Hafey of the equaliser and the game was pretty much over. The AL hung on to win the inaugural exhibition match 4-2.
What happened: The greatest moments in All-Star Game history came early and often. In only the second instalment of the annual battle pitting the AL against the NL, the Giants' Carl Hubbell made his presence at the even abundantly clear.
After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach base, Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin consecutively. The five K's in a row Hubbell recorded would end up being an All-Star record for years to come.
The AL actually ended up winning the game 9-7.
What happened: Cal Ripken was set to retire at the conclusion of the 2001 Major League season. As a sign of their appreciation, the fans selected Ripken as the starting third basemen. It was his 19th and his final All-Star team.
There were two big moments in the game for Cal. During the first inning, Alex Rodriguez insisted that Ripken play shortstop, his original position, for the first inning of the game. When the switch happen, Ripken officially became the all-time Major League leader in appearances at shortstop in All-Star Games.
In the third inning, Ripken hit a solo homerun into left field off of Chan-Ho Park to seal his fate as the 2001 All-Star MVP. The AL won 4-1.
What happened: Johnny Callison had several good seasons in the Majors, but the top moment in his career by far was his walk-off home run in the 1964 All-Star Game.
At Shea Stadium and off of Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz in the bottom of the ninth, Callison launched a majestic three-run homerun that sent the NL to a 7-4 victory.
Interestingly enough, Callison's home run was the last hit for a Phillie in the All-Star Game until Mike Schmidt hit a home run in the 1981 game.
What happened: Pete Rose cared a lot about winning. So much so that he bowled over and severely injured his dear friend and catcher Ray Fosse in order to win a meaningless exhibition game.
In the bottom of the 12th inning and tied 4-4, Rose was on second base as the NL's game winning run. Jim Hickman of the Chicago Cubs ripped a single up the middle and Rose started motoring towards home. The Royals' Amos Otis fired a strike from centre field to Ray Fosse putting the 23-year-old backstop directly in harms way. 'Charlie Hustle' hit Fosse, jarred the ball loose, and the NL won the game 5-4.
While Rose was also hurt on the play, Fosse suffered a separated shoulder that he continued to play with for a month since initial x-rays didn't pick up the injury. It eventually caught up with him, and Fosse's career was never the same.
What happened: There's a reason why the All-Star Game MVP is named after 'Teddy Ballgame.'
Ted Williams and the AL were down 5-3 heading into the final frame of the ninth All-Star Game ever. The NL surrendered a single run in the ninth, but were holding onto a 5-4 lead with one out to go. With two men on, Williams stepped up to the plate and drove a three-run homerun over the right field wall. The Splendid Splinter sent everyone home on a walk-off homerun, the first in All-Star Game history, and the AL won 7-4.
1941 was a remarkable season for Williams as he would go on to hit .406 for the year.
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