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Great Baseball All-Star Game Moments: 1990-2019 1

Posted on July 18, 2020 by Dean Hybl
The most memorable moment of the 2001 All-Star Game occurred when Alex Rodriguez convinced Cal Ripken, Jr. to play shortstop. (Photo credit JOHN MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the last three decades, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has transformed from being simply a game to being a multi-day extravaganza where the game itself is simply one component. For that reason, the game has at times seemed to be anti-climatic, but has still produced some great memories.

After the National League dominated the competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including a stretch of 19 victories in 20 games, the rolls have completely reversed in recent years.

The American League has claimed 23 out of the last 30 meetings, including a 13 game winning streak between 1997 and 2009 as well as a current seven game winning streak

In this final installment of the three part series in which we have reminisced about some of the great moments, games and players in All-Star history, we look at the most memorable games of the last three decades. Here are links to part one from 1933-1959 and part two from 1960-1989.

July 10, 1990 (Wrigley Field, Chicago)
The addition of lights at Wrigley Field allowed for the All-Star Game to be played at the storied venue for the first time since 1962.

The lights came in handy as the game endured 85 minutes worth of rain delays, which made it difficult for either team to develop a rhythm or establish a consistent pitching rotation.

The American League used six pitchers and the National League went through nine hurlers in the contest.

The game was scoreless until a two-run double by Julio Franco gave the AL all the runs they needed in posting a 2-0 victory.

July 12, 1994 (Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh)
In one of the most exciting All-Star Games in recent memory, the lead changed hands five times before the National League pulled out the victory in the 10th inning.

The NL jumped to a 4-1 advantage before the AL stormed back to claim a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the ninth.

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Great Baseball All-Star Game Moments: Part 2 (1960-1989) 1

Posted on July 12, 2020 by Dean Hybl

After becoming an American tradition following its inception in 1933, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game evolved into the “Midsummer Classic” through some memorable moments in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Pete Rose took out Ray Fosse to help the National League win the 1970 All-Star Game.

The exhibition eventually moved beyond being just a game to include a home run contest and many other activities that gave fans the opportunity to see their heroes in a completely different atmosphere than ever before.

From the very beginning, the All-Star Game was a highly competitive contest that even though technically an exhibition, lacked little in desire by the great players to win the game and claim bragging rights over the other league.

The game began to lose a little of the competitive edge following the inception of free agency in the 1970s. More players were switching from league to league and by the 1980s it started to be more important to give as many players as possible a chance to play, rather than keep your best players out there for the entire contest.

Of course, that strategy culminated with the 2002 game, which had to be called with the game tied in the 12th inning because both teams had run out of players. We will look more in-depth at that game in part three of this series.

In this second installment of the three part series, we will relive some of the legendary moments and games in All-Star history between 1960 and 1989. You can also catch the first installment with memories from 1933-1959.

July 13, 1960 (Yankee Stadium, New York City)
Between 1959 and 1962, two All-Star Games were played each year to provide the opportunity for fans in different cities to see the players up close and personal.

The second All-Star Game of the 1960 season provided a homecoming for Willie Mays, who had not been back to New York City since the Giants moved to San Francisco following the 1957 season.

He didn’t disappoint as Mays led off the game with a single and then hit a home run in the third inning.

Eddie Mathews, Ken Boyer and Stan Musial also blasted home runs for the National League as they won the game 6-0.

Also of note in the game was that it marked the 18th and final All-Star appearance for Ted Williams.

July 31, 1961 (Fenway Park, Boston)
The second meeting between the All-Stars in 1961 marked the first time that the game ended in a tie as the game was knotted at 1-1 when rain prevented the game from continuing after nine innings.

The American League scored first on a home run by Rocky Colavito in the first inning. The National League didn’t score until the sixth inning when Eddie Mathews scored on a hit by Bill White.

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Lefty Gomez: First All-Star Starter 1

Posted on July 11, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Lefty Gomez

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the American League starting pitcher for the first three All-Star Games and five times in a six-year stretch.

It didn’t take long for Vernon “Lefty” Gomez to become established as one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball.

After posting a 2-5 record in 15 starts in 1930, Gomez quickly became the staff ace. In 1931, at the age of 22, Gomez posted a 21-9 record and 2.67 ERA.

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Great Baseball All-Star Game Moments: Part 1 (1933-1959) 2

Posted on July 11, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Babe Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history during the first All-Star Game in 1933.

Since its inception in 1933, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has provided fans an annual opportunity to see most of the great stars of the game on the same field. While the game is an exhibition and has withstood periods of indifference by some players, management and fans, it remains a special mid-season moment.

Because of COVID-19, there will not be an All-Star Game played in 2020, marking only the second season without a game (the first was in 1945 during World War II) since the start of the annual contest in 1933.

Though there will not be any new memories this year, there have been many memorable games and moments in the 90 meetings between the top players of the American and National Leagues.

This is the first of a three-part series where we will relive some of the great moments and games in the history of this special series.

July 6, 1933 – Comiskey Park, Chicago
The idea of bringing the top players from both the American and National Leagues together in the middle of the season for one “All-Star” game was initiated by Arch Ward, a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune. The first game was played at Comiskey Park to coincide with Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition.

In a fitting testimonial to his legendary career, Babe Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star history when he lifted a pitch from Bill Hallahan into the right-field stands in the third inning.

The American League went on to win the game 4-2 with Lefty Gomez earning the victory.

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Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger 0

Posted on March 30, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Rocky Colavito

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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Missing Major League Baseball? Ken Burns’ Baseball Documentary Never Gets Old 0

Posted on March 29, 2020 by Dean Hybl

This was supposed to be opening weekend for the 2020 Major League Baseball season, but instead, our favorite baseball players are joining most other Americans on the sidelines as we recognize the great heroism of our medical workers, teachers, grocery clerks and others who are helping to keep our country moving during this pandemic.

ESPN, MLB Network and other channels have taken to showing some old baseball broadcasts this week and that has been great.

However, I have found myself re-captivated by MLB Networks showing of a 26-year-old documentary series on baseball created by Ken Burns.

For those too young to remember, the documentary originally aired in September 1994 on PBS. As timing would have it, that happened to be the first time in 90 years that the baseball season would end without a World Series.

The documentary, which chronicled the history of the game through nine broadcasts (for nine innings), was the most comprehensive look at the history of the great American game.

Through a combination of narration by veteran news anchor John Chancellor, interviews with many historians and former players and archived video, the documentary captured the magic of the game at a time when baseball fans were in a state of shock that there would be no post season.

Each chapter looked at a different stage of baseball history and Burns did a great job showing both the positive elements of baseball history as well as the warts.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Randy White: The Manster
      September 4, 2020 | 5:14 pm

      In recognition of the start of football season, we have selected a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland who went on to earn a spot in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames as our Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Randy White actually came to the University of Maryland as a fullback, but as a sophomore new head coach Jerry Claiborne recognized that he had the skills to be a great defensive lineman and quickly moved him to defense.

      Read more »

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