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Major League All-Star Games

By Wikipedia

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also popularly known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual exhibition baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by fan vote for the position players and by the manager for pitchers. The All-Star Game usually occurs in early to mid-July and marks the symbolic halfway point in the Major League Baseball (MLB) season (though not the mathematical halfway point; in most seasons, the game actually takes place after about 55% of the season has been completed).

Results of All-Star games are below, see also: All-Star Game MVPs

The game is no longer as popular with fans as it once was, with a television audience in 2005 less than half the size of the late Awesome80s All Star games and even a fraction of the 1960s audiences (see yearly Nielsen numbers in the table below).

The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago and was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune. Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in making the game an annual one. Players were selected as the result of a voting contest held in the Tribune.

Choosing a Venue

The venue is chosen by Major League Baseball and traditionally alternates between the two leagues every year. (This tradition was first broken in 1951, when the Detroit Tigers were chosen to host the annual game as part of the city's Sesquibicentennial at Briggs Stadium, and will be broken again in 2007, when the San Francisco Giants will be the host for the 2007 All-Star Game. The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the 2006 event. Both the Giants and the Pirates are NL teams.) The "home team" is the league in which the host franchise plays its games. The criteria for choosing the venue are subjective; for the most part, cities with new parks and cities who have not hosted the game in a long time tend to get the nod. In 2005, Comerica Park, the new home of the Tigers, hosted the Midsummer Classic. The last All-Star Game to be played in a stadium that was not hosting its first All-Star Game was the 1999 game in Boston's Fenway Park. To date, only three franchises have never hosted a game: the Florida Marlins, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. (The Washington Nationals hosted the game when they were the Montreal Expos.)

The designated hitter rule is applied based on the league in which the host team plays. In an American League ballpark, both teams use a designated hitter to hit for the pitcher. In a National League ballpark, lineups place schedule the pitcher to hit, though pinch hitters are almost always used.

The Rosters

The manager for each league's team has for many years been the manager of the previous year's league champion. For the 1995 game, since the 1994 World Series wasn't held due to a lockout, the managers were the skippers whose teams had compiled their league's best records in 1994, Montreal's Felipe Alou and the Yankees' Buck Showalter, both of whom had also won the Manager of the Year Award. Note that this honor is applied to the person, not the team, so it's possible that the All-Star manager could no longer be with the team he won with, as happened in 2003, when Dusty Baker managed the National League team despite having moved from the champion San Francisco Giants to the Chicago Cubs in the off-season. (However, Baker had at least moved to a different team in the same league. If he had switched to an American League team, or left baseball entirely, his eligibility to manage the All-Star game would have been in question.) The coaching staff is selected by the manager.

Each team consists of 32 players, selected in one of the following ways, listed in order:

  • Fan voting: Baseball fans vote on the starting position players for the All-Star Game, with ballots distributed at baseball games before mid-season and, more recently, on the Internet. When the game is played at an American League park, the designated hitter for the AL team is also selected in this manner.
  • Player voting: As of 2005, pitchers and one back-up player for each position are elected by the other players. If the top vote-getter at a certain position is also being voted in via fan voting, then the second-place finisher in this category is chosen for the team.
  • Manager selection (first): The manager and the Commissioner's Office will fill the roster up to 31 players.
  • Final vote: After the lists of 31 players for each league is announced, fans will vote for one additional player, chosen from a list of 5 players provided by the manager and the Commissioner's Office.
  • Manager selection (second): After the final vote, the manager and the Commissioner's Office will replace players who are injured or declined to participate. Each major league team is guaranteed to have at least one player selected to participate.

Between 1935 and 1946, the manager of each All-Star squad selected the entire team. Fans received the right to vote on the eight starters (excluding the pitcher) starting in 1947. In 1957, fans of the host Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box as a result of a promotion by a local newspaper which printed pre-marked ballots, and elected a Red to every position except first base. Commissioner Ford Frick stepped in and removed two Reds from the lineup. As a response to this fiasco, the right to elect the non-pitching starters was taken away from the fans until 1970. From 1958 through 1969, players, coaches, and managers made the choices.

One of the most controversial aspects of the player selection process is a rule that each team has to have at least one representative on its league's All-Star roster. While this rule made sense in baseball's pre-expansion days, when there were only eight teams in each league, many now consider it to be outdated since there are now almost twice as many Major League teams in existence. Opponents of the rule contend that the purpose of the game is to spotlight MLB's best players, and many superior players get left off the roster in favor of less deserving players from weaker teams. Supporters of the rule maintain that if the rule were dropped, a small number of powerful teams could end up dominating most of the available roster space. A number of compromises have been suggested, such as limiting the number of representatives a particular team could have, or requiring that a certain percentage of teams be represented. However, Major League Baseball has not indicated that it is considering altering or eliminating the rule in any form.

Ties

At Fenway Park in Boston on July 31, 1961, the first All-Star Game tie in history occurred when the game was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain.

Following a highly controversial situation in the 2002 game when both teams ran out of pitchers in the 11th inning (except for the ones they had in the game), and in response Commissioner Bud Selig declared the game over, Major League Baseball changed the rules to give the All-Star game "meaning" and additional incentive for victory. From the 2003 season up to the present, the champion of the league that won the All-Star game was to be given home-field advantage for the World Series. Previously, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated between the two leagues each year.

Oddities

In 1945, with severe wartime travel restrictions in effect, the All-Star Game scheduled to be played at Boston's Fenway Park was cancelled.

There were two All-Star Games played each season from 1959 to 1962. The second game was added to raise additional money for the players' pension funds, as well as other causes.

Of the eighteen players who started the 1934 All-Star game, only one, Wally Berger, is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Stuffing the Ballot Box

1947 was the first year that baseball allowed fans to vote for the starters on the All-Star team. In 1957, fans of the host Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box and elected 7 Reds players to start in the All-Star game. They were:

Johnny Temple, 2B
Roy McMillan, SS
Don Hoak, 3B
Ed Bailey, C
Frank Robinson, LF
Gus Bell, CF
Wally Post, RF

The only non-Red elected to start for the National League was St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Stan Musial. While the Reds were known to be a great offensive team with many outstanding position players, most baseball observers agreed that they did not deserve seven starters in the All-Star game. An investigation showed that over half of the ballots cast came from Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer had printed up pre-marked ballots and distributed them with the Sunday newspaper to make it easy to vote early and often. There were even stories of bars in Cincinnati not serving alcohol to customers until they filled out a ballot.

Commissioner Ford Frick decided to appoint Willie Mays of the New York Giants and Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves to substitute for Reds players Gus Bell and Wally Post. In addition, Frick decided to strip the fans of their voting rights. Managers, players, and coaches picked the entire team again until 1969, when the vote again returned to the fans.

To guard against further ballot stuffing, since 1969 each team has been given the same number of ballots to hand out. In 1998, that number was roughly 400,000 ballots.

Since the dawn of the internet age, online voting has again raised fears of ballot stuffing. Yet Major League Baseball assures its fans that they have taken precautions to guard against this. In 1999, a hacker from Massachusetts was caught casting 39,000 online votes for Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Other All-Star Weekend events

Since 1985, the Home Run Derby, a contest between home run hitters, has been played on the day before the All-Star Game. Also, a celebrity softball game is held the day before the Home Run Derby. The teams are usually a mixture of former stars from the host team's past, plus some celebrities from music, film, and television. Since 1999, the All-Star Futures Game has been held during All Star weekend. The two teams, one consisting of young players from the United States and the other consisting of young players from all other nations, are usually chosen based on prospect status in the minor leagues.

Below are the result of every All-Star Game played since 1933. Click on the date to see the box score and play-by-play account. (The Play-by-play and Color Commentator fields are for TV only. Radio announcer info forthcoming.

MAJOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME RESULTS
DATE Score MVP Site Play-by-Play Color Comm. Viewers
07/06/1933 AL  4  NL  2   Comiskey Park I      
07/10/1934 AL  9  NL  7   Polo Grounds V      
07/08/1935 AL  4  NL  1   Cleveland Stadium      
07/07/1936 NL  4  AL  3   Braves Field      
07/07/1937 AL  8  NL  3   Griffith Stadium      
07/06/1938 NL  4  AL  1   Crosley Field      
07/11/1939 AL  3  NL  1   Yankee Stadium      
07/09/1940 NL  4  AL  0   Sportsman's Park III      
07/08/1941 AL  7  NL  5   Briggs Stadium      
07/06/1942 AL  3  NL  1   Polo Grounds V      
07/13/1943 AL  5  NL  3   Shibe Park      
07/11/1944 NL  7  AL  1   Forbes Field      
1945 No game          
07/09/1946 AL 12 NL  0   Fenway Park      
07/08/1947 AL  2  NL  1   Wrigley Field      
07/13/1948 AL  5  NL  2   Sportsman's Park III      
07/12/1949 AL 11 NL  7   Ebbets Field Red Barber    
07/11/1950 NL  4  AL  3   Comiskey Park I Jack Brickhouse    
07/10/1951 NL  8  AL  3   Briggs Stadium Jack Brickhouse Jim Britt  
07/08/1952 NL  3  AL  2   Shibe Park Jack Brickhouse Mel Allen  
07/14/1953 NL  5  AL  1   Crosley Field Jack Brickhouse Mel Allen  
07/13/1954 AL 11 NL  9   Cleveland Stadium Mel Allen Gene Kelly  
07/12/1955 NL  6  AL  5   County Stadium Mel Allen Al Helfer  
07/10/1956 NL  7  AL  3   Griffith Stadium Mel Allen Al Helfer  
07/09/1957 AL  6  NL  5   Sportsman's Park III Mel Allen Al Helfer  
07/08/1958 AL  4  NL  3   Memorial Stadium Mel Allen Al Helfer  
07/07/1959 NL  5  AL  4   Forbes Field Mel Allen Curt Gowdy  
08/03/1959 AL  5  NL  3    L.A. Coliseum Mel Allen Vin Scully  
07/11/1960 NL  5  AL  3   Municipal Stadium Mel Allen    
07/13/1960 NL  6  AL  0   Yankee Stadium Curt Gowdy    
07/11/1961 NL  5  AL  4   Candlestick Park Mel Allen Russ Hodges  
07/31/1961 NL  1  AL  1   Fenway Park Curt Gowdy  Joe Garagiola  
07/10/1962 NL  3  AL  1 Maury Wills DC Stadium Mel Allen Joe Garagiola  
07/30/1962 AL  9  NL  4 Leon Wagner Wrigley Field Vin Scully Curt Gowdy  
07/09/1963 NL  5  AL  3 Willie Mays Cleveland Stadium Vin Scully Joe Garagiola  
07/07/1964 NL  7  AL  4 Johnny Callison Shea Stadium Lindsey Nelson Buddy Blattner  
07/13/1965 NL  6  AL  5 Juan Marichal Metropolitan Stadium Jack Buck Joe Garagiola  
07/12/1966 NL  2  AL  1 Brooks Robinson Busch Stadium II Curt Gowdy Pee Wee Reese  
07/11/1967 NL  2  AL  1 Tony Perez Anaheim Stadium Curt Gowdy,
Buddy Blattner
Sandy Koufax,
Pee Wee Reese
14.05M
07/09/1968 NL  1  AL  0 Willie Mays Astrodome Curt Gowdy,
Gene Elston
Sandy Koufax,
Pee Wee Reese
14.45M
07/23/1969 NL  9  AL  3 Willie McCovey RFK Stadium Curt Gowdy Mickey Mantle,
Tony Kubek
8.61M
07/14/1970 NL  5  AL  4 Carl Yastrzemski Riverfront Stadium Curt Gowdy Mickey Mantle,
Tony Kubek
16.67M
07/13/1971 AL  6  NL  4 Frank Robinson Tiger Stadium Curt Gowdy Tony Kubek 16.23M
07/25/1972 NL  4  AL  3 Joe Morgan Atlanta Stadium Curt Gowdy Tony Kubek 14.22M
07/24/1973 NL  7  AL  1 Bobby Bonds Royals Stadium Curt Gowdy,
Jim Simpson
Tony Kubek,
Maury Wills
15.54M
07/23/1974 NL  7  AL  2 Steve Garvey Three Rivers Stadium Curt Gowdy,
Joe Garagiola
Tony Kubek 15.49M
07/15/1975 NL  6  AL  3 Bill Madlock/
Jon Matlack (tie)
County Stadium Curt Gowdy,
Joe Garagiola
Tony Kubek 14.73M
07/13/1976 NL  7  AL  1 George Foster Veterans Stadium Bob Prince Warner Wolf,
Bob Uecker
18.68M
07/19/1977 NL  7  AL  5 Don Sutton Yankee Stadium Joe Garagiola Tony Kubek 17.44M
07/11/1978 NL  7  AL  3 Steve Garvey San Diego Stadium Keith Jackson Howard Cosell,
Don Drysdale
19.03M
07/17/1979 NL  7  AL  6  Dave Parker Kingdome Joe Garagiola Tony Kubek 18.18M
07/08/1980 NL  4  AL  2 Ken Griffey Dodger Stadium Al Michaels,
Keith Jackson
Howard Cosell,
Don Drysdale
20.45M
08/09/1981 NL  5  AL  4 Gary Carter Cleveland Stadium Joe Garagiola Tony Kubek 15.6M
07/13/1982 NL  4  AL  1 Dave Concepcion Olympic Stadium Al Michaels,
Keith Jackson
Howard Cosell,
Don Drysdale
20.38M
07/06/1983 AL 13  NL  3 Fred Lynn Comiskey Park I Vin Scully Joe Garagiola 17.9M
07/10/1984 NL  3  AL  1 Gary Carter  Candlestick Park Al Michaels Howard Cosell,
Earl Weaver,
Jim Palmer
16.84M
07/16/1985 NL  6  AL  1 LaMarr Hoyt HHH Metrodome Vin Scully Joe Garagiola 17.4M
07/15/1986 AL  3  NL  2 Roger Clemens Astrodome Al Michaels Jim Palmer,
Tim McCarver
17.44M
07/14/1987 NL  2  AL  0 Tim Raines Oakland Coliseum Vin Scully Joe Garagiola 15.9M
07/12/1988 AL  2  NL  1 Terry Steinbach Riverfront Stadium Al Michaels Jim Palmer,
Tim McCarver
18.07M
07/11/1989 AL  5  NL  3 Bo Jackson Anaheim Stadium Vin Scully Tom Seaver 16.45M
07/10/1990 AL  2  NL  0 Julio Franco Wrigley Field Jack Buck Tim McCarver 14.94M
07/09/1991 AL  4  NL  2 Cal Ripken SkyDome Jack Buck Tim McCarver 16.2M
07/14/1992 AL 13 NL  6 Ken Griffey, Jr. Jack Murphy Stadium Sean McDonough Tim McCarver 13.72M
07/13/1993 AL  9  NL  3 Kirby Puckett Camden Yards Sean McDonough Tim McCarver 14.5M
07/12/1994 NL  8  AL  7 Fred McGriff Three Rivers Stadium Bob Costas Joe Morgan,
Bob Uecker
14.79M
07/11/1995 NL  3  AL  2 Jeff Conine Ballpark in Arlington Al Michaels Jim Palmer,
Tim McCarver
13.26M
07/09/1996 NL  6  AL  0 Mike Piazza Veterans Stadium Bob Costas Joe Morgan,
Bob Uecker
12.66M
07/08/1997 AL  3  NL  1 Sandy Alomar Jacobs Field Joe Buck Tim McCarver,
Bob Brenly
11.44M
07/07/1998 AL 13 NL  8 Roberto Alomar Coors Field Bob Costas Joe Morgan 13.03M
07/13/1999 AL  4  NL  1 Pedro Martinez Fenway Park Joe Buck Tim McCarver 11.98M
07/11/2000 AL  6  NL  3 Derek Jeter Turner Field Bob Costas Joe Morgan 10.18M
07/10/2001 AL  4  NL  1 Cal Ripken Safeco Field Joe Buck Tim McCarver 11.2M
07/09/2002 AL  7  NL  7 (none awarded)* Miller Park Joe Buck Tim McCarver 10.02M
07/15/2003 AL  7  NL  6 Garret Anderson Comiskey Park II Joe Buck Tim McCarver 10.13M
07/13/2004 AL  9  NL  4 Alfonso Soriano Minute Maid Park Joe Buck Tim McCarver 9.89M
07/12/2005 AL  7  NL  5 Miguel Tejada Comerica Park Joe Buck Tim McCarver 8.8M
2006     PNC Park Joe Buck Tim McCarver 14.4M
7/10/2007 AL 5 NL 4 Ichiro Suzuko AT&T Park     12.5M
All-Star Game Results
*Bud Selig called the game in the 11th.

Baseball All-Star Game sources/bibliography:
The Midsummer Classic: The Complete History of Baseball's All-Star Game by David Vincent, Lyle Spatz, David W. Smith
Baseball's All Star Game: A Game by Game Guide by Jeff Lenburg
Major League Baseball: Awesome All-Star Action (DVD) by Major League Baseball
The All-Star Game: A Pictorial History, 1933 to Present by Donald Honig (1987, TSN)
Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia by John Thorn, et al.


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ALL-STAR

The 50th Anniversary All-Star game in 1983 was played in the same place as the first game - Chicago's Comiskey Park.


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