Today in All-Star Game history: Larry Walker flips helmet, bats right-handed
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.
Larry Walker flips helmet around, bats right-handed against Randy Johnson
Oh, July 1997, how we miss thee. "Men in Black" was tops at the box office, and Larry Walker was flirting with a .400 batting average when the AL and NL met at then-Jacobs Field in Cleveland on July 8. When Walker came up to face hard-throwing lefty (and now Hall of Fame electee) Randy Johnson in a 0-0 tie, Walker had to duck out of the way of a heater headed right for his dome.
Baseball's really a game of chess, so Walker's next move was to flip his helmet backward and step to the other side of the plate.
He eventually drew a walk (he was always an OBP guy), but was stranded. Later, hometown hero Sandy Alomar Jr. homered in the seventh to lift the AL to a 3-1 victory.
So many stars, but no power in 1958
Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays combined for 2,938 home runs in their Major League careers. But on July 8, 1958, all five of them started an All-Star Game that featured zero extra-base hits.
Vice President Richard Nixon threw out the first pitch before that homer-less game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, and the AL went on to win 4-3 in a game that featured just 13 hits, all of them singles.
Did you know Ted Williams once hit a walk-off All-Star Game home run?
The American League's starting lineup for the 1941 All-Star Game featured six (SIX!) future Hall of Famers -- Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Bob Feller and Ted Williams -- but they still found themselves trailing heading into the bottom of the ninth at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.
A ninth inning rally -- and the game -- ended when Ted Williams hit a walk-off homer with Yankees Joe Gordon and Joe DiMaggio on base, lifting the AL to a 7-5 win.
A version of this piece originally ran on July 8, 2015.