Remembering the ASG's greatest moments

June 30th, 2019

The All-Star Game has been a can't-miss event over the years, providing a chance to see MLB's best and brightest come together on the same field.

Before the 90th Midsummer Classic in Cleveland on July 9, here are the most memorable moments from previous editions.

Ted Williams, Red Sox
July 8, 1941 (Detroit)

In the midst of his legendary 56-game hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio was the talk of baseball. But Williams was having a historic season of his own, and he would outshine his counterpart in helping the American League defeat the National League in stunning fashion. 

With DiMaggio and his Yankees teammate Joe Gordon on base and the AL down to its final out, Williams crushed the first walk-off homer in All-Star Game history to give the Junior Circuit a 7-5 win.

Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles
July 10, 2001 (Seattle)

After announcing less than a month prior that the 2001 season would be his last, Ripken was elected to start the All-Star Game at third base for the AL. But when the team took the field in the top of the first inning, then-Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez insisted that Ripken swap spots with him to return to the position at which he began his career.

The Seattle crowd came to its feet to salute Ripken prior to his first at-bat in the third inning. Before most people even had a chance to sit down, the veteran ripped a rocket to left field for a home run on the first pitch he saw. Play was briefly halted before the sixth inning to honor Ripken and Tony Gwynn, who also planned to retire at the end of the season, as Bud Selig presented both of them with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award. Ripken went on to earn MVP honors.

Torii Hunter, Twins
July 9, 2002 (Milwaukee)

After hitting a single-season-record 73 home runs in 2001, Barry Bonds was wreaking havoc again in '02 despite opponents' reluctance to pitch to him. But the AL found a way to momentarily contain the slugger in the form of Hunter's glove.

When Bonds threatened to give the NL an early lead with his towering fly ball to right-center field in the first inning, Hunter sprang into action, showing why he was considered by many to be one of the premier defensive outfielders in the game at the time. The Twins' center fielder tracked the ball to the wall, jumped and made an incredible catch to snatch the would-be homer out of the air for the final out of the frame. A stunned Bonds couldn't help but smile and playfully lifted Hunter over his shoulder before heading back to the dugout. Bonds hit one where nobody could get it his next time up, though, blasting a laser off the facing of the second deck in right field.

Pedro Martinez, Red Sox
July 13, 1999 (Boston)

Following a moving pregame ceremony during which the MLB All-Century Team nominees were presented and Red Sox legend Ted Williams was honored, Martinez stepped on the mound and dazzled in front of the hometown crowd at Fenway Park.

Pairing a 96-97 mph fastball with a darting changeup in the 83-84 mph range, Martinez struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire in order to start the game, then got Jeff Bagwell swinging on a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play to end the second inning. The AL would go on to win, 4-1, and Martinez became the second player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP Award as a member of the host team.

Best of the rest

Of course, those aren't the only times in the long history of the All-Star Game when fans were left with unforgettable memories. Here are some additional moments that have stood the test of time.

Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
July 10, 2007 (San Francisco)

The unique dimensions at the Giants' spacious home venue set up the speedy Ichiro to record the first inside-the-park homer in All-Star Game history. After his long fly ball to right-center field took an odd carom off the wall, Ichiro easily circled the bases and reached home standing up. Watch >

Larry Walker, Rockies
July 8, 1997 (Cleveland)

Calling back to his comical encounter with John Kruk at the 1993 All-Star Game, Randy Johnson sailed a fastball high over Walker's head in the second inning of the Midsummer Classic four years later. Walker, a former teammate of Johnson's, then turned his helmet backwards and stepped into the righty batter's box for the next pitch. Watch >

Bo Jackson, Royals
July 11, 1989 (Anaheim)

With Vin Scully and President Ronald Reagan on the call as the American League came to bat trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Jackson hammered a gargantuan leadoff blast to dead center field, prompting Scully to exclaim, "And Bo Jackson says hello!" Wade Boggs followed with another homer to tie the game, and Jackson was named MVP after the AL went on to win. Watch >

Fred Lynn, Angels
July 6, 1983 (Chicago)

As MLB celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first All-Star Game, Lynn put his stamp on the 1983 version of the event, clobbering the first (and only, through 2018) grand slam in the history of the Midsummer Classic. Lynn earned MVP honors as the AL won in a blowout, 13-3. Watch >

Dave Parker, Pirates
July 17, 1979 (Seattle)

Although Lee Mazzilli hit a game-tying homer in the top of the eighth and plated the decisive run with a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, Dave Parker was named MVP of the 1979 All-Star Game largely on the strength of his right arm. After throwing out Jim Rice at third base in the seventh inning, Parker ended the bottom of the eighth and kept the score tied by nabbing Brian Downing at home with an unbelievable throw from right field. Watch>

Reggie Jackson, A's
July 13, 1971 (Detroit)

Although he was not yet "Mr. October," Jackson was already a superstar in the making in 1971, and he made his mark on All-Star Game lore with an unbelievable home run off a light standard on the roof of Tiger Stadium. The ball was estimated to have traveled 520 feet. Watch >

Pete Rose, Reds
July 14, 1970 (Cincinnati)

With Ray Fosse standing in the way of a victory for the NL, the man known as "Charlie Hustle" wasn't going to ease up, even in a glorified exhibition. When Fosse took the relay throw at home plate after Jim Hickman's single to center field in the bottom of the 12th, Rose barreled into the catcher and knocked the ball loose to score the winning run. Fosse suffered a fractured and separated left shoulder on the play, and his career was never the same. Watch >

Jackie Robinson; Roy Campanella; Don Newcombe, Dodgers; Larry Doby, Indians
July 12, 1949 (New York)

Two years after breaking baseball's color barrier, Robinson made history again, becoming the first African-American to play in the All-Star Game when he started at second base for the National League. Campanella, Newcombe and Doby later joined Robinson, who scored three of the NL's seven runs in an 11-7 loss.

Carl Hubbell, Giants
July 10, 1934 (New York)

The second MLB All-Star Game saw Hubbell, the National League starting pitcher, perform one of the greatest individual feats in the history of the Midsummer Classic, striking out future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in order.