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Sports Then and Now



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.

Read the rest of this entry →

How to Improve the Game of Baseball in an Instant 0

Posted on November 25, 2012 by Rick Swanson

 

Executive VP of Baseball Operations argues that instant replay would slow down the game of baseball.

Joe Torre was recently quoted saying this about instant replay: “The thing is our game is a little unique. There’s not a lot of time stoppage, so to make sure that if we do implement replay … you’re [not] going to slow this game down and you’re going to upset the rhythm of the game.”

The only way for instant replay to work if it is done in an instant.

Baseball has never used a clock in the game but if they use it for instant replay, it would really speed up the game.

If each replay was limited to 30 seconds and if each team only had two challenges per game, the game would only be increased by a minute or two at the most.

No more arguing with the umpire. If the manager has to toss out a red ball across the foul line to signify a challenge he won’t waste time getting all upset with any umpire again.

The way to make this work, is to only give the manager five seconds to decide if he wants to use up a challenge.

After five seconds if the red ball is not tossed across the white lines, then everyone gets to see all the replays.

There is no need to stop showing them in the park, because the manager did not object, so why should fans be upset if the call was bad or not?

The burden now lies with each team, to decide if they want to dispute any call.

If each team has only two challenges a game only two minutes would be added to the game. (If the team wins both challenges they would continue until getting one wrong.)

This only works if the umpires stay on the field, and watch the giant screen with all in the park at the same time.

After 30 seconds all four umpires would give their decision one at a time. If the verdict is tied two and two, then the one who made the original call gets to decide.

The technology is available on every big screen in every park in MLB.

Why can’t everyone look at the same play again?

Why is baseball afraid to show replays on big screens in every park?

Fans would be able to watch along on the big screen while umpires decided the fate of their call.

All every fan wants to see every call be correct. Nobody wants to see a perfect game erased, because of a bad call by an umpire.

Baseball and instant replay were meant for each other, but as stated earlier the key word is instant.

Next we need to show every pitch to everyone in the park, to make the umpires follow the rules of the sport.

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Early Wynn: 300 Game Winner
      August 1, 2020 | 8:37 pm
      Early Wynn

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month pitched in four decades, was a veteran of World War II and is one of only two pitchers to finish with exactly 300 career victories.

      Hall of Famer Early Wynn began his career as a 19-year old in 1939 by pitching three games for the Washington Senators. After spending the 1940 season in the minors, he went 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in a brief stint in the majors in 1941.

      Read more »

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