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I don’t know exactly when I stopped caring about MLB’s All-Star game. I guess it might coincide when the teams stopped trying to win. It really has become an exhibition as opposed to a game. That attitude has also killed other pro sports all star games, but I digress. In years gone by, there were some interesting tidbits.
When pitchers faced more than one hitter
The 1967 All -Star game went 15 innings before Tony Perez hit a game winning homer for the National League. The fact the teams had enough pitchers to go 15 innings indicates the game was looked at differently back then.
The day the hamstring died
Harmon Killebrew’s season ending injury marked the 1968 All-Star game. Harmon was playing first base for the American League and did the splits while taking a throw from shortstop, Jim Fregosi. I remember thinking, wow, I didn’t know Killebrew could do the splits! I thought it was amazing a guy his size and build could do that. It turns out he couldn’t. His foot slipped, resulting his doing the splits and tearing his hamstring.
It mattered to Pete. Why?
Pete Rose made news in the 1970 All-Star game by bowling over American League catcher, Ray Fosse, with the game-winning run. Pete played like a guy who had a lot riding on the outcome of the all star game. Maybe he did.
Not only egg, but ham too
Fast forwarding to 2002 comes my favorite moment in the all star game. That was when Commissioner, Bud Selig was told that both teams had ran out of pitchers after 11 innings. The game ended in a tie and Bud and MLB had egg on their faces. Ah, but the times they were a changing.
It Matters! Well, maybe not.
Starting with the 2003 All-Star game, it mattered! The league that won the all star game would get the home field advantage in the World Series. It didn’t matter. The game was still a dog. After the 2016 All- Star Game, it officially no longer mattered. The All Star game had no bearing on the home field advantage for the World Series.
In an effort to mimic the gimmickry of the NBA All-Star Weekend, in 1985 MLB added a home run derby to the festivities. I have to admit, I was briefly interested in that, but it lasted a short period of time. I can only listen to Chris Berman’s, “back, back, back” so long on batting practice home runs before it becomes redundant.
Here's an idea.....
Having every team represented and trying to get every player in the game as made it a joke. Instead of playing the game, maybe they should just give everybody a participation ribbon.
The sad truth is, despite being a borefest, the MLB All-Star game is still better than that of the NFL, NBA and NHL.