If you are a baseball fan, then you have an opinion about the All-Star Game. You may feel the voting process is ridiculous; you may hate the fact that the winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series. But no matter how you feel, the one thing that even the harshest critic of the game cannot deny is that you have a special memory from at least one of the previous 83 games played in league history.
That memory may not even be an entire game itself but simply one moment where you watched and said, “I’m glad I saw that happen”. Every baseball fan has at least one, some, like myself have more than one. Those memories can include a young rookie making his All-Star Game debut or an aging star playing in his last. The memory can be a home run, or in recent generations, a home run derby.
The defensive-minded fans may remember a great inning or two their favorite pitcher hurled in which he struck out the side. Some fans simply enjoy the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the game itself.
Whatever your All-Star memory is, it belongs to you. And like a lot of great sports moments or memories, you will never forget where you were when you watched it.
Maybe you were fortunate enough to attend an All-Star Game, having a beer and a hot dog with your favorite family member or friend. Maybe, as a 10-year old kid during a scorching hot July night, you were sitting in the only room of the house that was cooled by the window-unit air conditioner watching on TV.
I would even be willing to bet that your memory of an MLB All-Star Game is not complete with which league won or lost, and that is what makes this event so special—the fact that what is important is the baseball itself, the stars on the field and a moment waiting to happen.
Sure, there is something to play for these days, as the winning league will have home field advantage in the World Series.
This year, A.L Manager Jim Leyland appears as if he truly wants to win the game, as evidenced by the number of pitchers he selected. Leyland found out first hand last October what starting on the road can mean in the Fall Classic. With his team having a good shot to return this October, the Tigers manager has loaded his roster with at last count, at least four more arms than his National League counterpart, Bruce Bochy has.
That will add intrigue to this year’s contest but this game always was and is about your heroes, or now, your kids’ heroes. Hopefully, everyone that is playing is doing so for the love of the game. If you are an adult, the All-Star Game is a time to remember when you were a kid and if you are a kid, well, you’re dreaming about playing in the game one day yourself.
A few years ago, MLB baseball conducted a poll and asked what your favorite All-Star moment was—not your favorite All-Star game. I could not pick just one “favorite moment” but I did in the end for the sake of the vote. However, if you stick with this slide show (20 slides), you will learn about some of the special moments and which one I thought was the most special.
I would love to have feedback and read your comments. I would like to thank the Baseball Almanac and baseball-reference.com for the use of their stats and play-by-play accounts on these great Midsummer Classic's