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The MLB All-Star game is one of the most awaited fixtures of the annual baseball calendar. Fans get to see the biggest stars from the American League and the National League take on each other in a cracking affair.
The 2017 edition was no different; fans who bought MLB All-Star Game tickets were treated to a wonderful game of baseball. The game was played on July 11, 2017 at the Marlins Park and the AL came out on top 2-1 after ten innings. It was Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners who stole the show by hitting the HR that clinched the game for the AL. He was also declared the game’s MVP.
A Brief History
Also known as the “Midsummer Classic,” the MLB All-Star Game takes place during the middle of the regular MLB campaign. It began way back on July 6, 1933 at the Comiskey Park on an experimental basis. The idea of the game was conceived by Arch Ward, who was at the time the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune.
The rules and the format of the MLB All-Star Game have changed over the years to make it more exciting and entertaining for the fans. The players selection process has also undergone multiple changes over the years.
Greatest MLB All-Star Game Moments
The MLB All-Star Game has dished up plenty of unforgettable and pivotal moments. Here are five of the most important of those.
1949-Breaking the Color Barrier - Jackie Robinson’s signing by the Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the most important moments in baseball history. Robinson was the first ever African-American player to play professional baseball when he started for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947. The fans had to wait another two years for the color barrier to break in the MLB All-Star Game. In the 1949 edition of the All-Star Game, at the Ebbets Field, Robinson was joined by the likes of Roy Campanella, Larry Doby and Don Newcombe as the first African-American players to take part in the All-Star Game.
2010- NL Snaps The Losing Streak- Heading into the 2010 MLB All-Star Game at the Anaheim Stadium on July 13, 2010, the National League had been at a low ebb. They had not won the game for the last thirteen years straight and were 1-0 down in the seventh in the 2010 edition as well. It looked as though the streak would continue for at least one more year. But then Brian McCann of the Braves stepped up to the plate with bases loaded. He blasted the second pitch into the right field to give the NL a 3-1 lead. The losing streak was well and truly over.
2008-The Longest Game- The MLB All-Star Game of 2008 lasted for close to five hours – four hours and fifty minutes to be precise. It remains to this day, the longest MLB-All Star encounter in history. At the Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008, Justin Morneau put his name in history books when he scored in the 15th inning to win it for the American league. The final score: 4-3 American League.
2002-Torii Hunter Denies Barry Bonds- The 2002 edition of the MLB All-Star Game was played at the Miller Park on July 9, 2002. It ended in a tie as both sides ran out of pitchers in the end. As a result, the MLB decided to take away the game’s status as an exhibition encounter. However, there was a play in the game that remains one of the greatest in the game’s history.
Torii Hunter was playing his first All-Star game but that did not stop him from coming up with a play that will forever be remembered. The great Barry Bonds had blasted a hit at the bottom of the first and thought he had scored. Hunter however timed his jump to perfection and grabbed the ball way above to stun everyone watching. Bonds tossed Hunter over his shoulder between the innings and that remains one of the most iconic moments in the sport’s history.
2001-Carl Ripken Jr. Signs Off In Style- Carl Ripken Jr. was taking part in his last MLB All-Star Game on July 10, 2001 and he signed off in style. Neither side had managed to score entering the bottom of the third innings. Then came Carl Ripken Jr. and he smashed a HR to give the AL a 1-0 lead. They did not surrender the advantage from that point onwards and went on to win the game 4-1 at the Safeco Field.
Another unforgettable moment from the same encounter took place before the game began. Alex Rodriguez was the AL’s shortstop for that game but in an immense show of respect, he walked over to Ripken and asked him to move there as that had been his position throughout his career.
2017 marked the eighty-eighth time that the MLB All-Star Game was played. The American League and the National League are tied with forty-three wins apiece. Two encounters ended in ties (1961 and 2002). The longest winning streak for the American League stands at 13 games between 1997 and 2009. On the other hand, the longest American League winning streak lasted for 11 games between 1972 and 1982.
Highest Attendance Records
Millions of fans have bought MLB All-Star Game tickets over the years to watch this epic encounter live. The biggest crowd for the MLB All-Star Game was recorded on August 9, 1981 at 72,086 at the Municipal Stadium. On July 8, 1935, 69,812 fans made their way through the gates of the Municipal Stadium to record the second highest attendance in MLB All-Star Game history. The Municipal Stadium holds the record for the third highest attendance too. On July 13, 1954, a crowd of 69,751 watched the AL won the high scoring clash, 11-9.
MLB All-Star Game Tickets
The eighty ninth edition of the MLB All-Star Game is expected to take place on July 17, 2018 at the Nationals Park. The Nationals will be the host of the game for the first time and it will also be the first All-Star game to be played in Washington since 1969. The schedule is out and you can get your MLB All-Star Game tickets here to see the best ballplayers in the world, light up the Nationals Park, live.