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Dan Schlossberg’s Weekend Notebook: All-Star oddities

Dan Schlossberg’s Weekend Notebook: All-Star oddities

With the All-Star Game two weeks from Tuesday and gloomy weather hovering over the CitiField site, the idea occurred that conjuring up memorable moments of previous games might make the sun shine again.

Dan Schlossbergs Weekend Notebook: All Star oddities

New York’s CitiField will host the 2013 All-Star Game on July 16. [Bill Menzel photo]

How many of the following All-Star nuggets did you know?

  • Although the All-Star Game started in 1933, this is not the 80th anniversary game because there was no game in 1945 (wartime travel restrictions) but two games for four years (1959-62) before fan apathy killed the idea
  • The first night All-Star Game was played in 1942 but it took 30 more years before all All-Star Games were scheduled after dark
  • Home Run Derby began in 1985, the All-Star Futures Game in 1999, and the celebrity softball game in 2001
  • The designated hitter, introduced by the American League in 1973 but still not used by the National, was added to the All-Star Game (in AL parks only) in 1989 but universally adopted in 2010
  • The first All-Star Game to use the DH in an NL park took place in Arizona in 2011
  • Two All-Star Games lasted 15 innings (1967 and 2008) but the longest occurred in 2008 (4 hours, 50 minutes)
  • The only All-Star Game ever played on a weekend took place on Sunday, August 9, 1981, as baseball marked the end of a seven-week player strike
  • World Series home-field advantage was given to the league that won the All-Star Game as an experiment in 2003 but has since been made permanent
  • The most recent afternoon All-Star Game was played on July 23, 1969, a Wednesday, because of a rainout the night before
  • The American League won 13 straight All-Star Games from 1997-2009 but the National League has won the last three
  • The All-Star Game MVP award, awarded since 1962, was originally called the Arch Ward Memorial Award after the creator of the All-Star Game but was also called the Commissioner’s Trophy before becoming the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award in 2002
  • MVPs from the losing team in the All-Star Game were Brooks Robinson (1966) and Carl Yastrzemski (1970)
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. (1991) is the only player to win the Home Run Derby, All-Star MVP award, and American League MVP trophy in the same year
  • Yankees captain Derek Jeter was the first man to be All-Star MVP and World Series MVP in the same year (2000)
  • During the 2007 game in San Francisco, Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hit the only inside-the-park home run in All-Star annals
    Dan Schlossbergs Weekend Notebook: All Star oddities

    Ichiro’s speed enabled him to hit the only inside-the-park homer in All-Star history

  • Garret Anderson — remember him? — remains the only player to win the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game MVP in the same year (2003)
  • Of the 18 players who started the 1934 All-Star Game, only Wally Berger is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Although each league completes 34-man rosters for the All-Star Game, the first All-Star Game was played with only 18 men per side
  • No one hit a triple with the bases loaded in an All-Star Game before Pablo Sandoval of San Francisco connected last year
  • Nor has anyone duplicated Fred Lynn’s feat of hitting an All-Star Game home run with the bases full (1983)
  • Seven future Hall of Famers started for the American League in 1985: outfielders Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, and Jim Rice; first baseman Eddie Murray; shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr.; third baseman George Brett; and catcher Carlton Fisk
  • Rain shortened All-Star Games in 1952 (NL won, 3-2, in five innings) and 1961 (1-1 tie after nine)
  • National Leaguers did not wear their regular team uniforms during the first All-Star Game, instead donning special tops that read NATIONAL LEAGUE
  • Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial appeared in more All-Star games than anyone else (24) while Warren Spahn made the most appearances by a pitcher (17)
    Dan Schlossbergs Weekend Notebook: All Star oddities

    Home run king Hank Aaron made a record 24 All-Star appearances

 

 

 

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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