In the middle of July, there aren’t many things for sports fans to look forward to other than MLB’s All-Star Game. Let’s look at its most memorable All-Star games in MLB history to see which games stand the test of time.
2002 – Miller Park
In a game that saw Torii Hunter take a home run away from Barry Bonds and a pre-game ceremony honoring the legendary Ted Williams, who passed away a few days before the game, everyone still remembers that this one ended in a tie.
Then commissioner Bud Selig declared the game a draw in the 11th inning, as managers Joe Torre and Bob Brenly claimed they ran out of players. This embarrassment in Selig’s native Milwaukee led to the more embarrassing rule of awarding home-field advantage to the winner before abandoning it in 2017.
2008 – Yankee Stadium
The 2008 All-Star Game was the original Yankee Stadium’s swan song. Most people remember this for Josh Hamilton hitting approximately one million feet worth of taters in the Home Run Derby from the night before. However, Justin Morneau technically won the contest.
With the home-field advantage in the World Series on the line, there had to be a winner. The league accommodated this change by expanding the roster, but I don’t think they could have foreseen a 15-inning game.
Although there were outs at home plate, the game did feel like a lull during extra frames. And Michael Young won the game by hitting a sacrifice fly—hardly a flair for dramatic.
2003 – U.S. Cellular Field
There were two certainties that baseball fans could take to the bank in 2003: Barry Bonds was going to get on base, and Eric Gagne was going to get the save. And when Gagne came into the 8th inning, you assumed the game was on lock for the National League.
In a year where he converted all 55 of his save chances, ultimately leading to the Cy Young Award, Gagne blew in the Midsummer Classic, allowing an RBI single to Vernon Wells and a two-run home run to Hank Blalock. Keith Foulke notched the save in his old stomping grounds of New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, while Garrett Anderson took home the MVP and Home Run Derby crown.
1970 – Riverfront Stadium
The 1970 showdown was an exciting game filled with several future Hall of Famers. Two of which, Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver, dazzled for three shutout innings to start the game. But the National League came storming back from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the 9th on the back of two Giant teammates, with Dick Dietz hitting a home run and Willie McCovey adding an RBI double to send the games to extras.
It wasn’t until the 12th inning that the National League won thanks to Pete Rose racing home to score, barreling into catcher Ray Fosse in the process. Rose went on, among other things, to break the all-time hit record, while Fosse was never the same. It cannot be confirmed or denied if Rose had the NL run or money line.
1994 – Three Rivers Stadium
Generally, 1994 is a black eye for the game of baseball, considering they called it quits in August over a labor dispute. But since there was no World Series winner, it was nice to see an All-Star game worth remembering.
This game had lead changes, late-inning heroics, and home runs. Tom Emanski’s best friend, Fred McGriff, hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the 9th inning, extending the game until the 10th. Then, Montreal Expos outfielder Moises Alou delivered a drive into the gap, spectacularly plating Tony Gwynn.
We might see the 2022 All-Star game on someone’s list of most memorable All-Star games in MLB history, but the odds are overwhelming that it will be another bore.