Today in All-Star Game history: Bo Jackson crushes a leadoff HR in front of Ronald Reagan
Guess what? It's almost time for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard! In preparation, we're taking a look back into All-Star Game history and showcasing some epic and memorable plays from Midsummer Classics of yore. Check back each day from now until July 12 for more This Day in All-Star Game History.
Let's set the scene: It was July 11, 1989. Ronald Reagan, six months out of the presidency, was in the broadcast booth with Vin Scully at Anaheim Stadium (now Angel Stadium of Anaheim) for the MLB All-Star Game. The bottom of the first inning was about to begin -- the National League struck first, manufacturing two runs off American League starter Dave Stewart.
Bo Jackson was making his first ever All-Star plate appearance.
The Gipper set the stage: "That Bo down there, that's a pretty interesting hobby he has for his vacation. When baseball ends, he winds up playing football. I don't know if there's ever been anyone --"
Reagan was interrupted, though, because Bo did what Bo does. On this date 26 years ago, he crushed a pitch from NL starter Rick Reuschel into the stands for a leadoff home run, sending fans scrambling to retrieve the ball.
"He's remarkable and look at that one!" Scully shouted, breaking in with his call. "Bo Jackson says 'Hello!'"
And Scully offered his very precise estimate of the homer's distance: "He almost hit it out of state."
Wade Boggs followed Jackson with a homer of his own and tied the game at 2. The AL went on to win, 5-3, and Jackson finished 2-for-4 with the home run and two RBIs. The day earned him game MVP honors in what would be his only All-Star appearance.
To recap: A former U.S. president, one of the greatest broadcasters to ever speak into a microphone and a two-sport legend doing his thing. Such a moment surely deserves another look.
This post was originally published on July 11, 2015.