The 3rd Man In

Top All-Star Game moments since 2000

On one midsummer evening each year, baseball’s premier players convene on one field to play for home-field advantage. Year after year memories are made as veterans and youngsters display their skills for the millions of baseball fans around the country. This season the 85th All-Star Game will be held at beautiful Target Field in Minnesota.

Each year the All-Star Game unfolds differently, but usually one or two moments go down with some of the top moments fans have witnessed in recent memory.

Since 2000 there have been numerous memorable moments, and out of all of them, here the great memories over that time.

2001: Cal Ripken Jr. homers in final appearance

For 20 seasons, Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the games top players, as he was known for his excellent ability and class. In his 19th and final All-Star Game appearance at Seattle’s Safeco Field, Ripken was voted as the starting third baseman. Prior to the first pitch, American League starting shortstop Alex Rodriguez walked over to Ripken and insisted that he start at his natural position.

Ripken put up a slight fight, but ended up sliding over to shortstop as the crowd gave him a roaring ovation.

That wasn’t the only time in this game Ripken brought the crowd to their feet. In the bottom of the third inning Ripken sent a Chan Ho Park pitch over the wall for a solo home run to give the AL a 1-0 lead.

The AL went on to win 4-1 as Ripken was named the All-Star Game MVP.

2002: Torii Hunter robs Barry Bonds of a home run

The 2002 All-Star Game was a memorable gave for multiple reasons, and Torii Hunter robbing Barry Bonds was one of them.

Hunter has always been known for robbing home runs, but in his first All-Star Game appearance, no one was expecting him to do this. He timed his jump perfectly to bring Bonds’ home run back, and after he did it, it was a memorable sight.

2002: Tie game at Miller Park

While Hunter robbing Bonds of a home run was memorable, the ending of the game was unforgettable. The game controversially ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings as both teams ran out of available pitchers.

The managers did a terrible job managing their teams, but this dark spot in the game did bring some change.

Beginning the next year, home field advantage in the World Series was awarded to the winning league to place an importance on the game.

2007: Ichiro hits first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history

San Francisco’s AT&T Park is one of the games nicest looking ballpark, but as everyone knows the outfield walls have some odd angles.

With Brian Roberts standing on first base in a scoreless game, Ichiro stepped up to the plate to face Chris Young in the top of the fifth. On the first pitch Ichiro saw, he drilled the ball to the deepest part in right-center field.

The ball bounced around in the outfield as Ken Griffey Jr. played chase, while Ichiro hustled around the bases for an inside-the-park two run home run.

2010: National League ends the streak

For 13 straight seasons the American League reigned supremacy over the National League, as the NL had not won a Midsummer Classic game since 1996.

Trailing 1-0 going into the seventh inning at Angel Stadium, it appeared that the streak would continue until Brian McCann stepped to the plate. With the bases loaded and Matt Thornton on the mound, McCann drilled the second pitch he saw into right field for a bases clearing double, giving the NL a 3-1 lead to eventually end the streak.

2013: Mariano Rivera receives standing ovation and MVP Award

Mariano Rivera is the great closer in baseball history, and in his final All-Star Game appearance, players and fans did something that ranks right up with Cal Ripken Jr.’s final All-Star Game appearance.

During the All-Star Game at Citi Field, Rivera was called upon to pitch the eighth inning. As he trotted onto the field from the bullpen, players remained near the dugout and joined the fans in giving Rivera a standing ovation, as he stood alone on the field.

Rivera threw a 1-2-3 inning to preserve his career All-Star Game ERA at 0.00. His performance, well deservingly, earned him the All-Star Game MVP – the first time a relief pitcher won the award.

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