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All-Star Game History

 

Pedro Martinez

     Baseball is a world of opportunities - to succeed or to fail, to win or to lose, to achieve unimaginable heights or sink to unfathomable depths on a very public stage.  Throughout the years, every franchise has had its share of superstars - players who stand out above the rest, achieving victory, excellence, and heterodoxy.  There is only one game that brings them all together at once, in the same place: the All-Star Game.

   Over the years, the All-Star Game has given us some of the most memorable moments in all of baseball history.  Perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment: in 1934, National League starter Carl Hubbell struck out future Hall-of-Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in order in the first two innings.  The NL, however, eventually lost the game, 9-7.

   And who can forget Pedro in the 1999 game, becoming the first pitcher in 140 All-Star starts to strike out the side in the first inning?  He set down former NL MVP Barry Larkin, two-time batting champion and former NL MVP Larry Walker, and then the defending NL MVP Sammy Sosa - then rung up home run king Mark McGwire for a fourth straight K.  After Matt Williams reached on an error by second baseman Roberto Alomar, Martinez got another former NL MVP, Houston's Jeff Bagwell, on a 3-2 curve.  When Williams was caught stealing on the play, Martinez walked off to a standing ovation, the hometown hero finished after 28 memorable pitches.

 

 

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   Other memorable moments:

  • 1993: The most memorable at-bat in the history of the Midsummer Classic: John Kruk, the member of the Phillies least likely to finish the game in a clean uniform, stepped into the batter's box at the first-ever All-Star Game to be held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He faced American League starter Randy Johnson, the 6-foot 10-inch fireballer from Seattle. The first pitch sails up and over Kruk's head, and Kruk - who had never before seen Johnson pitch - spends the rest of the at-bat flailing wildly, eyes half-closed, from as far away from the plate as he can possible get while remaining inside the batter's box. Several years later, in 1997, Colorado's Larry Walker bats against Johnson. He puts his helmet on backwards and bats right-handed for the first time in his career.

  • 1946: After a year's interruption due to war-time travel restrictions, the American League crushed the National League in the most one-sided contest in All-Star Game history, 12-0. Three American League pitchers - Bob Feller, Hal Newhouser and Jack Kramer - combined to hold the National League to three harmless singles. Ted Williams provides the highlight in front of his hometown fans, setting or tying five records. He walked once, singled twice and homered twice, including a three-run shot off of Rip Sewell's supposedly unhomerable "ephus" pitch.

  • 1970: The National League ties the game 4-4 in the 9th, sending the game to extra innings and setting the stage for one of the most memorable and controversial plays in All-Star Game history. After singling in front of the home crowd in Cincinnati and moving to second on Billy Grabarewitz's single, Cincinnati's Pete Rose races home on yet another single by Jim Hickman. Without slowing down, Rose barrels into Indians catcher Ray Fosse, jarring the ball loose and giving the National League a 5-4 win.

  • 1971: What happens when the wind is blowing out at an All-Star Game? Exactly what happened at Detroit's Tiger Stadium. Six future Hall of Famers - Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente - homer in the game to account for every run scored by both teams. Jackson's blast, however, is especially memorable. With one on in the bottom of the third, the A's slugger rips a Dock Ellis pitch into a light tower on the roof of Tigers Stadium - 520 feet from home plate!

  • 1933: Babe Ruth christens the very 1st All-Star game with a two-run homer. The Al wins, 4-2.

  • 1997: Sandy Alomar Jr. hammered a game-deciding homer off Shawn Estes in the seventh inning in front of a thrilled home crowd.

  • 1961: A gust of wind blows San Francisco's Stu Miller off the mound at Candlestick Park, causing him to balk.

  • 1967: Tony Perez wins the longest game in All-Star history with a solo homer in the 15th inning off Oakland's Catfish Hunter. The 2-1 game featured 30 strikeouts.

  • 1984: On the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell's five consecutive All-Star Game strikeouts, Los Angeles' Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden of the Mets combine to go Hubbell one strikeout better at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. In the top of the fourth, Valenzuela sets down three Hall of Fame hitters: Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, and George Brett. Then, an inning later, Gooden, who at 19 is the youngest player in All-Star Game history takes care of the next three American League batters: Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis.

  • 1983: Fred Lynn blasts the one and only grand slam in All-Star history.

  • 1950: In the greatest comeback in All-Star Game history, St. Louis' Stan Musial, who would go on to appear in an amazing 20 consecutive Midsummer Classics, homers in the bottom of the 12th inning off Frank Sullivan of the Red Sox to give the National League a thrilling 6-5 victory at Milwaukee County Stadium. All Detroit outfielder Al Kaline could do was watch Musial's ball sail into a crowd of excited fans.

 

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