The 2012 MLB All-Star game is upon us, so let’s take a look back at the moments that shaped the game along the way. Whether it’s majestic home runs, dominating pitching efforts, or thrilling finishes, we have plenty of moments that will last a lifetime. I compiled a list of the fifteen greatest moments in All-Star game history. No doubt I’m forgetting some awesome moments (like the 1994 game for example) by only doing fifteen, but I’m sure you don’t want to read fifty of these. Alas, the fifteen greatest All-Star game moments in MLB history:
15. Ichiro Suzuki Hits an Inside-the-Park Home Run (2007)
Ichiro Suzuki is probably baseball’s greatest import, and he further cemented his legacy by hitting the only inside-the-park home run in All-Star game history in 2007. With ATT Park being one of the more tricky outfields there is, Ichiro benefitted from a unique hop that allowed him to circle the bases. Ichiro won MVP as the AL won the game 5-4.
14. Dave Parker’s Shows off his Gun (1979)
Dave Parker’s outfield assist to preserve the tie is not only one of the greatest defensive plays in All-Star game history but baseball history as well. You can’t throw a ball any better than this.
13. Marathon in Yankee Stadium (2008)
The 2008 All-Star game was a special one because it was the last year of old Yankee Stadium. That might be why the two leagues decided to play fifteen innings. Michael Young’s sac fly gave him his second game-winning RBI in the past three All-Star games.
12. Fred Lynn Hits First Grand Slam (1983)
Fred Lynn has his name attached to a lot of firsts. Well, maybe just two, with this being one of them and being the first ROY and MVP as the other one. The American League lost the previous eleven games until Lynn took Atlee Hammaker deep into Comiskey Park’s right field bleachers.
11. John Kruk VS. Randy Johnson (1993)
John Kruk wanted nothing to do with Randy Johnson before the game and Randy Johnson made sure he wouldn’t forget him after it, throwing a fastball about ten feet over the Krukster’s head. We saw another version of this in 1997 – a game I was actually at – when Johnson did the same to Larry Walker, prompting Walker to become a switch-hitter for a pitch.
10. Teddy Ballgame (1941) & Stan the Man (1955) Walk-offs
Two of the greatest hitters of all-time have flare for the dramatic.
9. Bo Knows All-Star Games (1989)
Bo Jackson is one of the greatest athletes of all-time. If he committed to one sport, he probably would have been the best at that sport instead of doing both baseball and football. Just take a look at this absolute bomb.
8. Torii Hunter Robs Barry Bonds (2002)
Torii Hunter was in his prime as the home run robbing thief and Barry Bonds was coming off his 73 home run season, so it’s only fitting that Bonds would drive one out to right center, but not deep enough to escape Torii Hunter’s glove. This catch is the equivalent of Benny Rodriguez hitting Scottie Smalls mitt without Smalls moving, it almost seems they did this on purpose.
7. Kissing Our Sister (2002)
As the famous saying goes: a tie is like kissing your sister. In 2002, we had a little taste of what that felt like when the All-Star game ended in a tie. In Miller Park, Bud Selig’s backyard, the game abruptly ended without a winner, changing the game forever so it always “counts” from here on out.
6. Reggie Jackson Goes Roofing (1971)
One could assume Dock Ellis was on LSD again after Reggie Jackson deposited one of his pitches over Tiger Stadium’s roof. Jackson’s bomb ranks up there with Bo Jackson’s home run as one of the most majestic blasts in history. The 1971 game featured a remarkable 20 Hall of Fame players, making it one of the more special All-Star games in MLB history.
5. Ted Williams, Pedro Martinez, and an awkward Pete Rose Interview (1999)
The 1999 All-Star game in Fenway Park was a spectacle. Between baseball introducing the All-Century team of baseball’s greatest players, Ted Williams throwing out the first pitch, and Pedro Martinez throwing smoke by the National League bombers that included two sixty home run hitters, there were plenty of things to remember about this game. But what might be the memorable thing about this game is Jim Gray conducting one of the most awkward interviews ever with Pete Rose.
4. Babe Ruth Hits First Homer in ASG History (1933)
It’s only fitting the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout (the Colossus of Clout) would hit the first home run in MLB history.
3. Carl Hubbell Strikes Out Five Hall of Famers (1934)
Carl Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx in a row. That’s all you need to know.
2. Cal Ripken’s Farewell Includes a Trip to Shortstop and a Home Run
Talk about a Hollywood ending. Starting shortstop Alex Rodriguez insisted Ripken move to the position that he transformed for one last inning in an extremly emotional moment. And if that wasn’t enough, Ripken smoked a Chan Ho Park pitch for a home run, becoming the oldest player (40) to homer in an All-Star game.
1. Pete Rose Destroys Ray Fosse (1970)
Pete Rose was the poster child of giving it 110%. When Jim Hickman singled hard up the middle, there was no doubt there was going to be a close play at the plate. Charlie Hustle did what Charlie Hustle does, doing whatever was necessary to score. It just so happened knocking Ray Fosse on his backside was the best solution. Rose went on to be the all-time hit king, while Fosse was never the same.