Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The 1994 All-Star Game -- considered by many as one of the greatest games in the history of the series -- was one of Tony Gwynn's finest moments.Gwynn scored the winning run in the National League's 8-7,
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The 1994 All-Star Game -- considered by many as one of the greatest games in the history of the series -- was one of Tony Gwynn's finest moments.
Gwynn scored the winning run in the National League's 8-7, 10-inning victory on July 12, 1994, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
But it wasn't just that he scored the winning run. It was how and when.
The score had already changed hands four times when the Padres outfielder led off the bottom of the 10th with a line-drive single to center against Jason Bere of the Chicago White Sox.
With Gwynn leading off first, Moises Alou hit a long drive to the gap in left center. With the play in front of him, Gwynn took off running and raced home sliding home safe ahead of the tag by Pudge Rodriquez of the Texas Rangers to give the National League a walk-off victory.
After scoring the winning run, Gwynn popped up at the plate and triggered a wild celebration as the National League halted a six-game American League winning streak.
"I never thought about not scoring," Gwynn said later. "Alou placed that hit perfectly. I had to score."
Gwynn had been voted into the starting lineup for the seventh time as the Padres' lone representative in the 65th All-Star Game. He played the entire game and went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
"That game was a great experience," said Gwynn. "Up to then, besides 1984, that was probably the most excited I'd even been about something I had done. To score a walk-off run in an All-Star Game, it just can't get much better than that."
Although Gwynn and Alou teamed for the winning run, the game's Most Valuable Player Award went to Atlanta - and former Padre -- pinch-hitter Fred McGriff, who tied the game with a game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Baltimore closer Lee Smith.
Many observers felt Gwynn deserved the MVP Award.
The American League took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Yankees' third baseman Wade Boggs singled with one out against National League starter Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves. Boggs moved to third on a double by Seattle center fielder Ken Griffey and scored on a single by Chicago White Sox third baseman Frank Thomas.
Toronto left fielder Joe Carter then rocketed a liner back to the mound that Maddux turned into an inning-ending doubleplay. It would be the first of several defensive gems that saved runs for the National League.
The National League tied the game in the bottom of the first. St. Louis first baseman Gregg Jeffries opened the game with a double, moved to third on Gwynn's ground out to first and scored on a sacrifice fly by San Francisco left fielder Barry Bonds off American League starter Jimmy Key of the Yankees.
The National League took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third off David Cone of the Kansas City Royals.
Houston's Jeff Bagwell singled as a pinch-hitter with one out and advanced to second when Cone hit Jeffries with a pitch. Gwynn then hit a two-run double to right and scored on a single by Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza to make it 4-1.
The American League tied the game with three runs in the top of the sixth against the Astros' Doug Drabek.
Toronto second baseman Robbie Alomar opened the inning with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Griffey, who was thrown out trying to advance on the thrown home. Thomas followed with a single and scored from first when Carter reached third on a two-out, throwing error by San Francisco third baseman Mitch Williams. Carter scored the tying run on a single by Minnesota right fielder Kirby Puckett.
The National League regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Montreal center fielder Marquis Grissom hit a one-out, solo homer off Seattle's Randy Johnson.
The American League scored three more runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-5 lead.
Rodriguez opened the inning with a single off John Hudek of the Astros. Pinch-hitter Mickey Tettleton drew a walk and after a forceout left runners at the corners with one out, Danny Jackson of the Phillies replaced Hudek.
Boston third baseman Scott Cooper doubled home Rodriguez and Cleveland center fielder Kenny Lofton followed with a two-run single. The American League thought it had a seventh straight win until tied the game with his game-tying homer in the ninth - setting the stage for Gwynn and Alou.
Griffey, Thomas, Rodriguez and first baseman Will Clark of the Texas Rangers all had two hits for the American League. Gwynn and Bagwell were the only National League hitters with two hits. Gwynn, McGriff and Lofton each had two RBIs while Gwynn and Jeffries were the only players to score two runs.
Doug Jones of the Phillies was the winning pitcher.
Griffey won the Home Run Derby.