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Greatest moments in All-Star Game history

The kids are all right

In 1984, two of the most exciting pitchers in baseball were Dodgers sensation Fernando Valenzuela and the Mets' Dwight Gooden, a 19-year-old rookie from Tampa. Both turned in memorable All-Star moments when Valenzuela struck out Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson and George Brett in the fourth and Gooden followed in the fifth by striking out Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon and Alvin Davis.

Teddy Ballgame tees off

In the 1946 midsummer classic at Fenway Park, hometown hero Ted Williams, above, hit one of the most famous homers in All-Star Game history. Pirates pitcher Rip Sewell threw his famous eephus pitch, which had a high arc and slow velocity, and fooled Williams the first time. Sewell tried it again and Williams crushed the pitch into the rightfield bullpen. Williams went 4-for-4 with five RBIs.

Cal's last game

Playing in his 19th and final All-Star Game in 2001, Baltimore's Cal Ripken, left, homered and was named the game's most valuable player. But the most touching moment came at the start when Alex Rodriguez, the starting shortstop of the AL stars, ran out to third base and forced Ripken to move to short, the position he played for the first 15 years of his career.

Hubba Hubba

Long before Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden were striking out All-Stars, there was Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell in the second All-Star Game ever in 1934. Not only was it noteworthy that Hubbell set an All-Star Game record with five consecutive strikeouts, it was the five players he struck out — all future Hall of Famers and some of the most famous names in the game: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin.

Stan the Man

In the 1955 game at County Stadium in Milwaukee, the American League jumped out to a 5-0 lead with the help of a Mickey Mantle homer, but the National League stormed back with two in the seventh and three in the eighth. The Cardinals' Stan Musial, above, ended the second extra-inning game in All-Star Game history with a homer in the bottom of the 12th.

All tied up

The 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee started off well enough with then-Twins centerfielder Torii Hunter reaching over the right-centerfield wall to rob Barry Bonds of a home run. But the game ended in an ugly fashion when both teams ran out of pitchers with the score tied at 7 going to the 12th inning. Feeling he had no choice, commissioner Bud Selig ended the game. But it wasn't the first tie in All-Star history. In 1966, baseball held two All-Star Games. The second, at Boston's Fenway Park, was 1-1 after nine innings when heavy rain forced an end to the game.

Fred Lynn grand slam

In 1983 at Chicago's Comiskey Park, the NL intentionally walked Milwaukee's Robin Yount to load the bases in the bottom of the third. Taking it personally, the Angels' Fred Lynn, left, wondered if anyone had ever hit a grand slam in an All-Star Game. The answer was no. But that answer changed when Lynn ripped an Atlee Hammaker pitch into the rightfield stands. The AL scored seven in the inning and rolled to a 13-3 victory.

Tonight, baseball's All-Star Game will be played in St. Louis. We take a look back at nine (for nine innings) memorable All-Star Game moments.

Five things we love about the All-Star Game

It's for real

It's the best of sports' all-star games because it's the closest thing to a real game. Okay, so no one is breaking up a double play or brushing back hitters. But pitchers are throwing as hard as they can to hitters swinging as hard as they can. And, unlike the other sports, there is actual defense.

They wear their own uniforms

Unlike with the other sports, baseball players wear the same uniforms they wear during the season. So when you look at the screen and see the Yankee pinstripes or that famous Dodgers script, you probably know immediately whom you are looking at.

Every team is represented

Sure, maybe a player who deserved to be in the game is at home because a player from a lousy team had to be taken. But every baseball fan in the country will get that special thrill, even if it's only once in the game, of watching his hometown guy step into the spotlight.

The players care

In football's Pro Bowl, does the NFC really care if it's better than the AFC? Or in the NBA, is it a big deal for the West to be better than the East? But in baseball, it really matters to the players to prove their league is better. Right now, the NL is out to prove it can beat an AL team that is 11-0-1 in the past 12 games.

It counts

Sure, it's a bit of a PR gimmick that homefield advantage in the World Series is determined by the outcome. It seems like homefield advantage should go to the team with the better record. But it is fun to watch the All-Star Game knowing what is on the line, especially now that it actually could affect the Tampa Bay Rays.

Pete Rose bowls over Ray Fosse

In 1970, Pete Rose lived up to his nickname of Charlie Hustle by bowling over Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run for the National League in the bottom of the 12th inning in front of Rose's home crowd in Cincinnati. The unfortunate part of the story was that Fosse suffered a separated shoulder and was never really the same catcher again.

Reggie Jackson's homer

Reggie Jackson was one of baseball's most celebrated figures, and this was the moment in 1971 that put him on the national landscape. Batting in the third inning against Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, Jackson absolutely crushed a home run that would've cleared Tiger Stadium had it not been for a light transformer atop the rightfield roof. The ball traveled an estimated 520 feet.

Greatest moments in All-Star Game history 07/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 13, 2009 9:35pm]
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