ted williams, joe dimaggio, ted williams all star game homer, 1941 all star game
Associated Press
Ted Williams is greeted at home plate by teammate Joe DiMaggio after his ninth-inning home run gave the AL a 7-5 victory in the 1942 All-Star Game.

The 10 Most Memorable Moments in All-Star Game History

July 12, 2011 08:00 AM
by Denis Cummings
Before the first pitch of the 82nd MLB All-Star game, we look back at the 10 most memorable moments, be they exciting, disappointing, historically significant or bizarre.

1933: Babe Homers in First All-Star Game

Chicago’s Comiskey Park hosted baseball’s first All-Star game in 1933. Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, nearing the end of his career, was the star attraction. “We wanted to see the Babe,” said NL starting pitcher Bill Hallahan. “Sure, he was old and had a big waistline, but that didn't make any difference. We were on the same field as Babe Ruth.”

Ruth didn’t disappoint the more than 47,000 fans in attendance, cracking a home run to right field in the second inning.

1934: Hubbell Strikes Out Five Hall of Famers in a Row

New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell, starting for the National League in his home park, the Polo Grounds, walked the first two hitters he faced. He followed by striking out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Foxx on just 12 pitches. He struck out Al Simmons and Joe Cronin to open the second, giving him five straight strikeouts, all against future Hall of Famers.

“Nearly five generations later, it remains the most stunning sequence in All-Star Game history, if not baseball history,” writes The New York Times’ Dave Anderson.

1941: Williams Hits Walk-off Homer

The American League lineup featured two the game’s greatest players in the prime of their careers. The Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio came into the game with a 48-game hitting streak that would eventually end at a still-record 56 games. Ted Williams of the Red Sox was batting .405 and would finish the year at .406, still the last time a player has batted .400 in a season.

Still, the AL trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth; after DiMaggio hit into a fielder’s choice, Williams hit a two-out, three-run home run into the right-field stands to give the AL a 7-5 victory.

1949: Robinson, Campanella, Newcombe and Doby Integrate the All-Star Game

In 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s modern color barrier, the All-Star game featured black players for the first time. Robinson, alongside Dodgers teammates Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe, represented the NL, while the Indians’ Larry Doby represented the AL.

Played at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, the game “was a huge step because it proved to baseball and all the naysayers that we were in fact here to stay,” Newcombe recalled. “By us being chosen to play in that game, it affirmed that African-American players were stars and would continue to be stars and there was nothing anybody could do to stop it.”

1950: NL Wins First Extra-Inning Game

The 1950 All-Star game was the first to go into extra innings. The National League, which had won just four of the first 16 All-Star games, tied the game in the ninth on a homer by the Pirates’ Ralph Kiner. In the 14th, the Cardinals’ Red Schoendienst, a defensive replacement for Jackie Robinson, homered in his only at-bat of the game, as the NL won 4-3.

1961: Miller “Blown Off Mound”

The first of two All-Star games played in 1961 was played in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, famous for the swirling winds coming off San Francisco Bay. The Giants’ Stu Miller came into the game with one out in the ninth, protecting a 3-2 lead with runners on first and second.

Just as I was ready to pitch, an extra gust of wind came along and I waved like a tree,” describes Miller. A balk was called, helping the AL tie the game. Miller would pick up the win in a 10-inning NL victory, but he will be most remembered for being “blown off the mound.”

“I guess that's better than ‘Stu Who?’ I'd rather be remembered for something,” he told AP in 2007.

1970: Rose Barrels Over Fosse

In the bottom of the 12th, with the score tied 4-4, Jim Hickman’s single sent the Reds’ Pete Rose, playing in front of his home fans in Cincinnati, home for the winning run. Rose, anticipating a close play at home, ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse, who suffered a fractured bone in his shoulder.

The collision is commonly credited with derailing Fosse’s career, but this is not entirely true. Fosse didn’t miss a game due to the injury after Indians doctors didn’t detect the fracture. (Rose, on the other hand, sat out three games with a minor knee injury suffered in the collision.) Though the injury robbed Fosse of his power, he remained strong enough defensively to win the Gold Glove 1970 and ’71, and return to the All-Star team in ’71. He had many unrelated injuries later in his career that caused his play to further decline and eventually forced his retirement in 1979.

1971: Jackson Hits Tiger Stadium Light Tower

The AL defeated the NL 6-4, with all 10 runs scored on six home runs hit by future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson and Frank Robinson. Jackson’s blast struck a light tower on the roof of Tiger Stadium; Hit Tracker estimates the ball would have traveled 532 feet, making it one of the longest homers of all-time.

It was still going up with plenty of steam when it hit the tower on the roof in right,” Tigers legend Al Kaline recalled in 2005. “Nobody knows how far that could've gone.”

1999: Williams Throws Out First Pitch; Pedro Strikes Out the Side

At Fenway Park, 80-year-old Red Sox legend Ted Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch and spent several minutes speaking to past and current All-Stars around the mound. “Tears were coming out of Ted's eyes. I had to turn away because tears were coming out my eyes, too,” said the Rockies’ Larry Walker.

Soon after, AL starter Pedro Martinez, pitching in front of his home fans, struck out the side in the first inning and finished with five strikeouts against the six hitters he faced, including home run kings Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

2002: Game Ends in Tie as Teams Run Out of Pitchers

Before the bottom of the 11th, with the score 7-7, AL manager Joe Torre and NL manager Bob Brenly told commissioner Bud Selig that they had used up their pitchers, forcing him to call the game if it wasn’t decided to the bottom of the inning. With the angry crowd booing and chanting “Let them play!” and “Refund!” the NL failed to score, ending the game in a tie.

Facing criticism that the All-Star game was meaningless, baseball decided to award the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series starting the following year.

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