All Star Games

Ah the All Star game. A chance for Major League Baseball to showcase its stars and heroes. A chance to have the sports stage all to their self for one night. Well actually two if you count the Home Run Derby won lat night by Boston’s David Ortiz.

This year the National League will once again try to regain World Series home field advantage and win the game since a game that I was at way back in 1996 when it was held at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

It’s quite amazing that the National League hasn’t won in such a long time. There had ben years of dominance of the National league back between 1963- 1985 where the American League only won once in 22 years!

As a child I always enjoyed the All Star game. It was a chance to see at least one star from your home town team, for me that was the Montreal Expos. I remember a few great Expos All Star Games. The first being in 1981, the split season strike year where Expos catcher, Gary Carter walked away with the MVP award at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. Carter slammed two home runs as the National league won 5-4. That game featured the likes of Fernando Valenzuela starting as a rookie, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, Davey Lopes, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Rod Carew, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield and the list goes on and on of greats.

Another game was the following year at Olympic Stadium in Montreal where the Expos fielded 5 players including, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Steve Rogers, Tim Raines and Al Oliver. The National League won again 4-1 in this matchup in front of over 59,000 fans.

Or how about the last time the All Star Game was played in Anaheim. I remember the game like it was yesterday. Seeing Bo Jackson step into the batters box against Rick Reushel and watching Jackson blast a home run to dead center field, what an absolute bomb! Who could ever forget it!

And then there was the not so good game that ended in a tie after 11 innings in Bud Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee in 2002. The game ended as a 7-7 tie and was a mga embarrassment for the commish and MLB. That would never happen again as roster have been increased just in case a situation like this occurs again.

The game I went to was back in 96’ which saw hometown hero Mike Piazza win the MVP award as the National League took care of the American League 6-0.

So how did I get to go to the game? Well, my brother The Doc and I entered a lottery for the privilege of buying seats in the absolute nosebleed portion of the stadium. And we won the lottery, plunked down $50 a ticket and off to Philly we went.

Before the game we went to the convention center for the Fan Fest which was a blast and then off to the stadium very very very early in order to soak in a once in a lifetime experience. What a great day. Not a great game, but Piazza hit a home run and we saw the last time the NL won an All Star game.

So who knows what we will see tonight. Will we see finally another NL victory or a continuation of the AL’s dominance? Will we see amazing feats as in past games? Or will it be a regular run of the mill match? How many future Hall of Famers will we be seeing in the game?

Tune in tonight to find out…

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