Yankees Mag: Midsummer Moments

July 11th, 2023
(Photo Credit: New York Yankees)

Giancarlo Stanton isn’t known for being the most verbose player in the league; the star slugger tends to let his bat do the talking. When he does something special, it’s often left to others to put his achievements into perspective.

After last year’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, when Stanton’s two-run homer in his hometown lifted the American League to its ninth straight win, it was Dodgers icon Steve Garvey who summed up the performance perfectly: “When the galaxy of stars came to L.A.,” Garvey said as Billie Jean King presented Stanton with the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award, “one shone brighter than all the rest.”

To outshine a collection of the greatest baseball players on the planet in one game is no small feat. But Stanton’s moment of glory carried on a Yankees tradition that dates back to the very first All-Star Game, held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1933. As MLB celebrates its 93rd Midsummer Classic on July 11 in Seattle, take a look back at some of the Yankees who have left an indelible mark on baseball’s annual celebration of stars.


1933 -- Babe Ruth had a knack for coming up big in the biggest spots, and the first Major League All-Star Game certainly qualified. In the bottom of the third inning, after a walk to Charlie Gehringer, Cardinals left-hander Bill Hallahan served up a home run to the Babe -- the first dinger in All-Star history -- that put the AL up, 3-0, en route to a 4-2 victory.

1935 -- At Cleveland Stadium, Lefty Gomez tossed six innings (a record that will likely stand for all of time) of one-run ball to lead the AL to its third straight win.

1937 -- Lou Gehrig opened the scoring at Washington’s Griffith Stadium with a two-run homer in the third off Dizzy Dean that drove in teammate Joe DiMaggio. The Iron Horse capped the scoring with a two-run double in the sixth, making a winner of Lefty Gomez for a third time in All-Star play -- still the all-time record. Gehrig’s four RBIs remain the most by a Yankee in a single Midsummer Classic.

1939 -- With six Yankees in the starting lineup, the host team was well represented in the first All-Star Game held at Yankee Stadium. Joe DiMaggio’s solo homer in the fifth capped the scoring in a 3-1 AL win.

1942 -- Tommy Henrich’s double was part of a three-run first inning that gave Spud Chandler all the support he’d need in a 3-1 AL win at the Polo Grounds.

1943 -- Joe McCarthy, en route to his seventh World Series championship (and tired of hearing complaints about how the AL team was stacked with Yankees every year), guided the AL to a 5-3 win at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park in which no Yankees appeared.

1944 -- At Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Yankees right-hander Hank Borowy tossed three scoreless innings in his first All-Star Game start.

1946 -- After a one-year hiatus due to wartime travel restrictions, the All-Star Game returned at Fenway Park, where Charlie Keller’s two-run homer in the first ignited a 12-0 AL win.

1947 -- Frank “Spec” Shea became the first rookie in All-Star Game history to earn the victory, tossing three innings of one-run ball. Reliever Joe Page, who had been one pitch away from being demoted to the Minors in late May before turning his season (and career) around, got the final four outs in a 2-1 AL win at Wrigley Field.

1948 -- For the second year in a row, a Yankees pitcher — this time Vic Raschi — earned the win with three innings of outstanding relief work, to say nothing of his offensive contributions. In his first All-Star Game plate appearance, Raschi broke up a 2-2 tie with a two-run single in the fourth — followed immediately by a Joe DiMaggio pinch-hit RBI — as the AL won, 5-2.

1949 -- Joe DiMaggio drove in two runners -- including his brother Dom -- with a sixth-inning double, part of a two-hit, three-RBI performance for the three-time AL MVP. Vic Raschi gave up just one hit over the final three innings to record the save in an 11-7 AL win at Ebbets Field.

1954 -- For the first time in five consecutive tries, Yankees manager Casey Stengel led the AL to victory. Whitey Ford tossed three innings of one-hit ball to start the contest, but it was Senators left-hander Dean Stone who earned the win without officially facing a batter by throwing out Red Schoendienst on his attempt to steal home with two outs in the eighth.

1955 -- At Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Mickey Mantle’s three-run homer off Robin Roberts staked the AL to a 4-0 lead before the first out had been made, but the NL hit Whitey Ford hard in the seventh and eighth, then won it in the 12th.

1956 -- Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back homers in the sixth, but the NL defeated the Casey Stengel-led AL squad yet again.

1957 -- In the lone All-Star appearance of his career, Bob Grim was called upon to do what neither of the two hurlers who preceded him could: close out the ninth. The NL had plated three runs already to trim the AL lead to 6-5, and with Ernie Banks standing on second base, Casey Stengel brought in his 27-year-old closer. Gil Hodges laced a shot into left-center field, but Minnie Miñoso tracked it down to seal the victory at Busch Stadium.

1959 -- Yogi Berra’s two-run homer off Don Drysdale was the big blow in a 5-3 AL victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 3, four weeks after the Junior Circuit lost the first game of the short-lived All-Star doubleheader.

1973 -- Sparky Lyle pitched a scoreless eighth inning in a 7-1 AL loss at Royals Stadium, noteworthy for the fact that he struck out pinch-hitter Willie Mays, who was making his 24th and final All-Star Game appearance. Mays’ 23 career hits remain the gold standard.

1983 -- Dave Winfield collected three hits at Chicago’s Comiskey Park to help lead the AL to just its second victory since 1963.

1987 -- Looking to end a scoreless game, Dave Winfield channeled his inner Pete Rose and barreled into Braves catcher Ozzie Virgil in the bottom of the ninth. Virgil held on to the ball, though, keeping the contest alive, and the NL eventually improved to 8-0 in extra-inning games.

1998 -- Less than two months after throwing a perfect game at Yankee Stadium, David Wells drew the starting assignment for the AL at Colorado’s Coors Field and dominated again, facing the minimum six batters over two hitless innings. The six batters included four future Hall of Famers (Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, Chipper Jones and Mike Piazza) as well as Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.

2000 -- A first-inning double off Randy Johnson, a third-inning single off Kevin Brown and a two-run single off Al Leiter in the fourth were more than enough for Derek Jeter to be named MVP of the AL’s 6-3 win at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

2001 -- Cal Ripken Jr., playing in his 18th and final Midsummer Classic, would be named the game’s MVP, but Derek Jeter and Chicago’s Magglio Ordóñez hit back-to-back homers off Jon Lieber to begin the sixth inning, turning a slim 2-1 lead into a 4-1 AL victory. Jeter’s All-Star Game blast was the first by a Yankee since Yogi Berra’s shot off Don Drysdale in 1959.

Only one Yankees player -- Dave Winfield in 1983 -- had ever collected three hits in a single All-Star Game until Jeter came along and did it twice, in 2000 and 2004. The first performance \[above\] earned him MVP honors in Atlanta -- a precursor to the World Series MVP Award that Derek Jeter would collect later that same year. (Photo Credit: Allen Kee/MLB via Getty Images)

2004 -- Derek Jeter had another three-hit All-Star Game, starting at shortstop in between new Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the player for whom A-Rod had been traded, Texas second baseman Alfonso Soriano. Jeter scored during the AL’s six-run first when Soriano blasted a three-run homer off another former Yankee, Roger Clemens, who was starting for the NL in his new home ballpark in Houston.

2006 -- After Michael Young’s two-run ninth-inning homer gave the AL a 3-2 lead, Mariano Rivera took the mound at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and didn’t allow a ball to reach the outfield, working around an error to notch his record-tying third All-Star Game save.

2008 -- A stirring pregame ceremony in which 49 Hall of Famers gathered at Yankee Stadium one last time set the tone for an unforgettable 15-inning marathon that lasted a record 4 hours and 50 minutes. Starting shortstop Derek Jeter delivered the game’s first hit, then received a standing ovation from the Bronx faithful upon exiting the game in the sixth. After allowing back-to-back one-out singles in the 10th, Mariano Rivera induced a double-play ground ball to keep the game tied, 3-3. When Michael Young’s sac fly finally ended it just before 2 a.m., the National League found itself on the losing side of an extra-innings contest for the first time in 11 tries (9-1-1).

The final season in The House That Ruth Built included a gathering of baseball’s greatest living players (above) at the 2008 All-Star Game. The memorable pregame scene was followed by an incredible contest that lasted nearly five hours and saw the NL lose in extra innings for the first time. (Photo Credit: MLB Advanced Media)

2009 -- In St. Louis, Mariano Rivera’s record fourth All-Star Game save sent the AL to its seventh straight win and kept the NL winless (0-12-1) since 1997.

2013 -- With all eyes on Mariano Rivera at the halfway point of his farewell season, the great closer stood on the mound alone and basked in the applause of an appreciative New York crowd at Citi Field, then pitched a clean eighth inning of the AL’s 3-0 win to earn game MVP honors.

2014 -- With two more hits in his final All-Star appearance, 40-year-old Derek Jeter raised his career batting average in All-Star Games to .481 as the soon-to-be-retired captain earned a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd.

2018 -- While warming up to pitch the second inning at Nationals Park, Luis Severino looked up from the visitors’ bullpen mound to see a ball hurtling toward him off the bat of teammate Aaron Judge. The 26-year-old outfielder had blasted a moonshot off hometown starter Max Scherzer that, upon landing in Severino’s glove, gave the AL a 1-0 lead and made Judge the youngest Yankee to homer in an All-Star Game since Mickey Mantle in 1956. A record 10 homers would be hit in the game, an 8-6 AL win that pushed the Junior Circuit (44-43-2) above .500 for the first time since 1962 (16-15).

2022 -- A four-time All-Star with the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton made his first All-Star Game as a Yankee one to remember. Having grown up less than 20 miles away from Dodger Stadium in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sunland-Tujunga, Stanton had a contingent of about 50 family and friends on hand for the 2022 Classic. His fourth-inning home run off Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin tied the game, 2-2, and landed in the left-field seats where Stanton often sat with his father. “That was full circle,” he said. “For the road I’ve gone on to get to where I am now, right where it all began for me as a kid, this is very special.”

Nathan Maciborski is the executive editor of Yankees Magazine. This story appears in the July 2023 edition. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at www.yankees.com/publications.