The boys of summer do it again! The 78th annual all-star game was one to remember. A game that featured history, a game that had suspense, and a game that honored a living legend. The greatest all-around ball player of all time, Willie Mays, was honored in a special ceremony in center field before the game started. The same area he patrolled with gracefulness and relative ease for 22 years. Mays played in every all-star game from 1954 to 1973 and 24 in all (MLB played 2 a year between 1959-1962). Mayes still commanded the show as he made Mets shortstop Jose Reyes back up to catch the ceremonial first pitch. It was a classy move for major league baseball to pay homage to the man who means so much to Giants history while the game was in San Francisco, similar to what the league did with Ted Williams in Boston in 1999.
What more could you ask for in an all-star game? Bases loaded in the 9th with 2 outs and one of the games best young pitchers on the mound and Phillies star centerfielder at the plate. The game sure lived up to its hype, even as the American League pushed their unbeaten streak to 10 years. Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander pitched ok in his 1st all-star appearance, giving up a triple and allowing a run in 1 inning of relief work. There were even a few home runs hit, 3 by the A.L and 1 by the N.L. Ichiro Suzukiâ€™s home run was an inside-the-park home run, the very first one in all-star history. Unfortunately, none of the bombs in the game OR Home Run Derby landed in McCovey Cove so plenty of kayak renters are looking for refunds.Â
No matter how old you are though, youâ€™ve got to still love the all-star game. Even with all the allegations in baseball today, the game still brings back memories of me and my friends racing home after baseball practice to watch the Home Run Derby. The 1999 game was probably my favorite because the AL had 3 all-star shortstops on the roster, and a 4th star in Nomar Garciapara. The short porch in left at Fenway made for majestic home runs and the aforementioned tribute to Williams was pretty cool. Overall, the midsummer classic can make anyone feel like a child again and bring back so many memories while watching the best in the game play 9 innings.