Memorable MLB All-Star Games
Each summer the MLB All-Star Game brings together a pool of talented players who would never otherwise have the chance to play on the same field. Because each team has a slugger, ace or speedster represented on the American League or National League team, fans come to the game's host city from far and wide to cheer on their hometown heroes.
There's an air of excitement and anticipation that inseparably accompanies the Midsummer Classic. The convivial attitude among players and enthusiasm of baseball's biggest fans give visitors the suggestion of serendipity. Namely, anything can happen when you bring the best of the best together.
Regardless of the drama that unfolds on the diamond during the All-Star Game, fans always have the chance to see future Hall of Famers in action. In fact, in 1934, just the second year the game was played, only one of the 18 starters was not eventually elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Similarly, in 1985, fans got to see an American League lineup that featured seven future Hall of Famers in Rickey Henderson, George Brett, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield, Jim Rice and Carlton Fisk.
Some years, in addition to glimpsing a rare combination of star power, fans are astonished by the theater of the traditional mid-summer game.
1933: Off to a good start
Fittingly, fans who attended the very first All-Star Game at Comiskey Park were able to witness the gift of baseball legend: Babe Ruth. At 38-years-old, Ruth belted the first home run in the history of the All-Star Game and made an amazing catch in the eighth inning to rob the Cincinnati Reds' Chick Hafey of a hit. His heroics were enough to secure a 4-2 victory for the American League and a win for Ruth's Yankee teammate Lefty Gomez.
1955: A 12-inning thriller
Anyone who thinks that the Midsummer Classic is just for fun is unaware of the fiercely competitive 1955 All-Star Game, in which the two teams entered the bottom of the 12th inning tied at five. With the Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan on the mound for the American League, the hulking St Louis Cardinals' slugger Stan Musial stepped up to the plate. Locking in on Sullivan's pitcher, Musial sent one over the head of outfielder Al Kaline and into the seats to give the National League a 6-5 victory. NL fans certainly weren't disappointed when Stan the Man was chosen to appear in 20 consecutive All-Star Games.
1970: Pete Rose, Fosse Fell
After a triple by Brooks Robinson, the American League held a commanding 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning. But an offensive onslaught by the national league, started by Dick Dietz's solo home run forced extra innings in Cincinnati. After getting on base, hometown boy Pete Rose sprinted around third and headed for home on a hit by Jim Hickman. Unwilling to put on the brakes in order to beat the throw, Rose plunged into Ray Fosse as he crossed the plate, sending the AL catcher hurtling to the ground and knocking the baseball loose. Roses' aggressive play gave the NL a 5-4 win.
2001: Farewell to Cal
At the age of 40, long-time Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr. became the oldest player to participate in the Midsummer Classic during his final season in the league. Making a grand exit in his 19th career All-Star appearance, Ripken hit a solo home run in the third inning to break a tie. He would ultimately be awarded the MVP trophy and become just the 5th player to win the All-Star MVP more than once.