Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The 2002 All-Star Game started out as one of the more exciting in the history of the series. But it ended on a sour note as a 7-7 tie after 11 innings, leading to sweeping changes in
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The 2002 All-Star Game started out as one of the more exciting in the history of the series. But it ended on a sour note as a 7-7 tie after 11 innings, leading to sweeping changes in the way future All-Star Games were structured and what they would mean.
The problem was created by managers Joe Torre of the American League and Bob Brenly of the National League. Wanting to give all their players a taste of the All-Star Game experience, the managers had used all their pitchers after 11 innings.
With no pitchers available, Commissioner Bud Selig was left with no alternative other than to declare the game a tie. The crowd of 41,871 fans on July 9 at Miller Park in Milwaukee -- Selig's hometown -- roundly booed the decision.
The tie was only the second in the history of the series. The second All-Star Game of 1961 at Fenway was tied at 1 when it was stopped by rain.
In the wake of the 73rd All-Star Game, Selig made changes to be sure it couldn't happen again. He also made the All-Star Game more meaningful to the season by declaring the league that won the All-Star Game would get the home-field advantage in future World Series.
The tie also meant no Most Valuable Player was selected for the 2002 All-Star Game -- another embarrassing turn of events since the award had just been renamed for Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who had died at the age of 83 a week before the game was played.
Up until the game was stopped, it was packed with memorable moments, including the unveiling of baseball's 30 greatest moments during the pregame ceremonies and arguably the greatest catch in All-Star Game history.
With two out in the bottom of the first Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit a deep drive to right-center field off American League starter Derek Lowe of the Boston Red Sox.
Minnesota Twins' Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder Torii Hunter raced to the gap, timed his leap perfectly and caught the ball above and beyond the fence, robbing Bonds of a home run.
After National League starting pitcher Curt Schilling of Arizona completed his second scoreless inning, the National League scored first in the second inning worked by Lowe.
Sammie Sosa of the Cubs opened the second with a single, but was thrown out at third trying to advance two bases on a single to left by Montreal center fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who took second on the play at third. Guerrero advanced to third on a balk and scored on a ground out by Mets catcher Mike Piazza.
The National League made it 4-0 with a three-run third off Roy Halladay of Toronto. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins opened the inning with a single, advanced on a ground out and scored on a single to center by Colorado first baseman Todd Helton. Bonds then hit a two-run homer that was well beyond anyone's reach.
The American League scored single runs in the fourth and the fifth.
Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi singled off the Dodgers' Odalis Perez with two out in the fourth, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Boston's Manny Ramirez. In the fifth, Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano homered off Dodgers reliever Eric Gagne.
The National League scored in the bottom of the fifth to make it 5-2. Rollins opened the inning with a single against Mark Buerhle and scored on a double by Arizona catcher Damian Miller.
After Trevor Hoffman of the Padres worked a scoreless sixth for the National League, the American League took a 6-5 lead with a four-run seventh against Mike Remlinger of Atlanta and Byung-Hyun Kim of Arizona. The National League scored twice in the bottom of the seventh off Seattle's Kazuhiro Sasaki to take a 7-6 lead. Florida third baseman Mike Lowell singled and moved to third on a double by Miller. Houston's Lance Berkman drove in both with a two-run single.
But the American League tied the game at 7 in the top of the eighth. Robert Fick of the Tigers opened the inning with a single off Giants closer Rob Nen and stole second as Damon was striking out. Cleveland's Omar Vizquel, who was playing second because the American League had five shortstops, singled home Fick to tie the game.
Seattle's Freddy Garcia worked the final two scoreless innings for the American League, striking out three while allowing two hits. Vicente Padilla of the Phillies worked a perfect 11th for the National League.