The Tuesday Discussion: The All-Star Game
July 13, 2021
This week we asked our writers:
How do you feel about the All-Star Game?
Do you watch? Do you care who wins?
Do you have any great All-Star Game memories?
Does the All Star Game matter to you, at all?
Here are their responses:
Mike Whiteman – I do watch the All-Star game, and have done so as long as I can remember. I long a bit for the more competitive nature of the game during my youth (1980s), but I still enjoy it greatly.
Ed Botti – The All Star Game used to be a very nostalgic event for me, especially growing up. I used to love to see great American League hitters square off against great National league pitchers and vice versa. I always cared who won, because I am an American League fan. Although, in all honesty, I would absolutely hope every Red Sox in the game would embarrass themselves, and the AL would still win!
All Star Game memories: Not necessarily “great” but I do have a vivid recollection of Pete Rose barreling into Ray Fosse, and many Mariano Rivera performances. 1999 was special, as Ted Williams would be wheeled out onto the field to interact with all of the players. A special moment indeed. Derek Jeter going 3 for 3 in 2000 was memorable. It seems like just yesterday that I sat down at my friend’s house to watch the 1984 All Star Game and rookie Doc Gooden struck out the side (Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis). Of course, watching my childhood idol, Thurman Munson, in the mid-summer classic was always a highlight for me.
I actually went to the 1981 All Star game in Cleveland, which officially ended the strike. In that game Gary Carter of the Expos hit 2 home runs. That game had 4 Yankee starters, Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent. They also had 2 pitchers, Ron Davis and Goose Gossage. But if memory serves, Goose did not make the trip for some reason. YES Network’s very own Ken Singleton also went deep! The NL won that game 5-4.
Since the advent of Inter League play, the All Star game has lost a lot of its luster, little by little, for me. No longer do I anticipate what so and so from the AL will do in an at bat against so and so from the NL. I have probably already seen it 20 times or more. Now it seems to have gone the way of the NFL Pro Bowl, and more and more players are opting out. The majesty of it seems to have been taken away. That is a shame.
But at the end of the day, I will sit down in front of the of tube tonight and I will watch it because, hey I am a baseball fan! That’s what we do. But I will still root against every Red Sox in the game!!
Chris O’Connor – I have always been relatively neutral about the All Star Game. I always care more when there is more Yankee representation there, but even then I almost never watch the whole game. Maybe a few innings here and there. Ever since the rules changed where the winning league would no longer be given home-field advantage in the World Series, it seems like it has been a struggle to get players, particularly pitchers, to really want to showcase their talents. This year, notably, two of the best pitchers in the world in Jacob DeGrom and Gerrit Cole have already said that they will not pitch in the game. So even though I will tune in for a few innings to see Aaron Judge hit, among other things, I will not watch the full game. Having said that, I still remember watching Aaron Judge’s home run off of Max Scherzer in the 2018 All Star game. That was such a cool moment when Justin Verlander called it before the at bat. Derek Jeter’s two hits in two at bats was also great to see in his final All-Star Game in 2014.
Paul Semendinger – As a child growing up, the All-Star Game usually came when we were traveling. We camped a lot. There were no television sets. As such, I missed many of the games in those early years.
Soon, it became something I tried to care about, but just couldn’t.
What is funny is that more and more each year I have enjoyed the Home Run Derby. I greatly enjoyed it last night.
As for the All-Star Game itself, I might tune in, but I probably won’t.
Patrick Gunn – I enjoy the All-Star Game for the nostalgia, but I can’t say it’s my favorite baseball event of the year. The game can get long and is far from the most enjoyable game. It works best when there are storylines surrounding the game – ie, a famous player’s last hurrah. This year’s game has Shohei Ohtani starting as both a pitcher and a hitter (btw: Ohtani is amazing). My favorite memory probably comes from Mariano Rivera’s last game, although Jacob deGrom dominating his first inning in the game was awesome. I really prefer the Home Run Derby because it’s just pure power vs. power vs. power. The skills challenges are always the best parts of All-Star weeks and the same applies for MLB. The All-Star game is worth watching for the novelty of seeing some of the games’ best stars playing together. The game itself and its results are irrelevant.