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10 Great Moments in MLB All-Star Game History 4

Posted on July 04, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Pete Rose knocks over Ray Fosse for the winning run in the 1970 All-Star Game.

With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game one week away, it’s time to take a look back at some great moments from All-Star Games past.

Here now, are the 10 Greatest MLB All-Star Game Moments.

10. 1933
It was only fitting that the first home run in an All-Star game is hit by Babe Ruth.

Ruth’s blast comes off Cardinals pitcher Bill Hallahan in the bottom of the third to give the American League a 4-2 in the inaugural All-Star game.

9. 1983
Fifty years later in the same ballpark, the first grand slam is hit as Angels center fielder Fred Lynn sends Atlee Hammaker’s 2-2 pitch over the wall.
It is still the only time a Grand Slam has been hit in the All-Star Game.

8. 1955
The National League pulls off the greatest comeback in All-Star Game history as they overcome a five-run deficit to pull out a victory in extra innings.

Trailing 5-0 entering the bottom of the 7th inning, the NL scores two runs in the inning, then score three runs in the eighth to tie the game, and then win the game in 12th when Stan Musial hits a solo home run. Read the rest of this entry →

Baseball All-Star Selection Process Hasn’t Improved Over Time 2

Posted on July 04, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Derek Jeter will be starting in the 2011 All-Star Game despite hitting .260 with 20 RBI.

Despite continual tweaking designed to make the process as fair and consistent as possible, the selections for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game follow the history of rewarding past accomplishments and dominant teams while overlooking a number of deserving players.

Selecting the players for the All-Star Game has been a challenge for generations.

The most egregious example of exploiting the system occurred in 1957 when ballot stuffing in Cincinnati led to the Reds having the top vote getter at seven of eight field positions. Eventually, two of the players were replaced in the lineup and fans lost the right to vote for the All-Star starters for slightly more than a decade.

Since fan voting was restored in 1970, the biggest problem has not been ballot stuffing, but instead a tendency for fans to vote some of their favorite players into the lineup regardless of whether they were having the best year of a player at that position.

Some all-time greats, including Brooks Robinson, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith and Johnny Bench continued to be selected by the fans even in years when they were clearly not the best player at their position.

The unintended consequence of this desire to see certain fan favorites is that other deserving players don’t get the recognition of being All-Star starters in years when they were obviously the best player at their position.

One such example was first base for the American League during the late 1970s and early 1980s. After moving from second base, where he was an eight time starter, Rod Carew was voted by the fans as the starting first baseman every year from 1976 through 1984. Read the rest of this entry →

Big Papi Wins The Home Run Derby 3

Posted on July 13, 2010 by Carl Desberg

David Ortiz captured the Home Run Derby title last night in a thrilling performance. The left-handed slugger came out hungry and while he was all smiles he had his eyes on the prize.

Papi did it with a smile per usual.

Coming out hitting sixth out of eight batters, Papi put up an eight spot which was good enough to move him onto the second round.

Then Papi got HOT.

He blasted 13 dingers in the second round which comfortably sent him to the finals where Ortiz met former Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez. Big Papi went first and set the tone with 11 bombs as he spread them between center, right center, and right field. Hanley could not come close to match his output and Papi claimed his first ever Home Run Derby Championship. David hit 32 homers over three rounds measuring in at over seven miles with the farthest going 478 feet.

This was Ortiz’s first appearance in the Derby since 2006 (he participated 2004-06) and he made it count. He was a class act all night cheering on his competition and his classic smile was ear to ear. A true ambassador to the game and a face of the Red Sox organization, Ortiz did good work for baseball on this evening.

The most consistent cog in this patched up Red Sox line up since May 1 (17 HRs), hopefully Papi saved some umph for the second half and doesn’t melt down like former champs (ie Bobby Abreau and Josh Hamilton).

Rather, perhaps this performance can spark his game like the Three Point Contest did for Paul Pierce and propel him and the team toward a run at the pennant.

Baseball All-Star Game Memories, Part 3, 1990-2009 4

Posted on July 11, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr. share a special All-Star Moment in 2001

Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr. share a special All-Star Moment in 2001

Over the last two 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 18 out of the last 21 meetings and has not lost to the National League since 1996.

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 two decades.

Read the rest of this entry →

Baseball All-Star Game Memories, Part 2, 1960-1989 4

Posted on July 10, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Great All-Stars Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron

Great All-Stars Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

Baseball All-Star Game Memories – Part 1, 1933-1959 0

Posted on July 06, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Base Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history.

Base Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history.

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.

There have been many memorable games and moments in the first 80 incarnations of the annual meeting 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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

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