The MLB All-Star Game is finally here.
Throughout its long history, the MLB All-Star Game has produced a number of unforgettable highlights. From Jackie Robinson’s All-Star debut in 1949 to Pedro Martinez dominating from the mound in 1999 to Mariano Rivera’s final All-Star game in 2013, there is no shortage of remarkable feats.
Before the 91st edition of the event on Tuesday, here are some of the most memorable moments from previous games.
1933: Babe Ruth hits the first home run in All-Star Game history
By the time of the MLB’s first ever All-Star Game in 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Babe Ruth was nearing the end of his legendary career, but that did not stop “The Bambino” from putting on a show for the ages. In the bottom of the third inning, Ruth crushed a pitch from Cardinals pitcher Bill Callahan for the first home run in All-Star Game history.
1941: Ted Williams with a historic walk-off home run
Joe DiMaggio was having a legendary season, but Ted Williams was in the midst of a historic year himself and it culminated in a memorable end to the 1941 All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. With DiMaggio and Yankees teammate Joe Gordon on base and the AL down to its final out, Williams hit the first walk-off home run in All-Star Game history.
1949: Jackie Robinson’s debut as the All-Star Game integrates
Jackie Robinson did not stop at breaking baseball’s color barrier. At Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, two years after entering the league, Robinson made history again by becoming the first African-American to play in the MLB All-Star Game when he started at second base for the National League. Robinson was joined by fellow African-American players Larry Doby, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe.
1970: Pete Rose runs over Ray Fosse
Pete Rose was never one to shy away from contact, even during an exhibition game. With a victory on the line, Rose plowed into Ray Fosse to knock the ball loose and score the winning run in the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star Game at the Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
1971: Reggie Jackson flashes his power at the plate
The 1971 MLB All-Star Game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit featured an impressive collection of future Hall of Famers like Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson and Reggie Jackson. All the sluggers went deep during the game, but Jackson’s home run was perhaps the most impressive, as it hit a light tower and travelled an estimated 520 feet.
1989: Bo Jackson starts the All-Star Game off strong
Bo Jackson was known for his power at the plate, and his strength was on full display during the 1989 MLB All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim. With the American League trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Jackson stepped up and crushed a leadoff home run to center field. He was named MVP of the game after the AL went on to win.
1999: Pedro Martinez puts on a show at Fenway Park
Pedro Martinez took the mound at his home stadium in Fenway Park and put forth one of the greatest pitching performances in All-Star Game history. He struck out prolific sluggers Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire to start the game. The AL went on to win and Martinez became the second player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP Award as a member of the host team.
2001: Cal Ripken Jr. wins the All-Star Game MVP award
In his final season, Cal Ripken Jr. put on an unforgettable MLB All-Star Game performance at Safeco Field in Seattle. He was selected to start at third base for a record 19th All-Star appearance. Ripken ripped a solo home run to left field on the first pitch he saw in the third inning to open the scoring. He was named the game's MVP and became just the fourth player to win two All-Star Game MVP awards.
2002: Torii Hunter robs Barry Bonds at the wall
Barry Bonds set the single-season record for home runs in 2001 with 73 and was poised to hit another one during the 2002 MLB All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, but Torii Hunter had other plans. Bonds smacked a towering fly ball to right-center field that looked to be heading for the stands, but Hunter tracked the ball to the wall and made an incredible leaping catch to snatch the ball out of the air for the final out of the first inning. Bonds could only smile and playfully lift Hunter over his shoulder before heading back to the dugout.
2007: Giants honor Willie Mays in San Francisco
In 2007, the MLB All-Star Game moved to AT&T Park in San Francisco and the Giants decided to pay tribute to the franchise’s greatest player, Willie Mays. He was honored during a special pregame ceremony and the “Say Hey Kid” began the All-Star festivities by throwing out the first pitch to Mets shortstop José Reyes.
2007: Ichiro's inside the park home run
After the Giants honored Willie Mays, the actual All-Star Game started off well for the National League. The NL scored the first run of the game, but the American League fought its way back to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish again thanks to Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki. He hit a deep fly ball to right field at the top of the fifth inning, raced around the bases and made it back to home plate to notch the first inside-the-park home run in the 74-year history of the All-Star Game. Ichiro won MVP honors after the AL went on to defeat the NL.
2013: Mariano Rivera says goodbye to the All-Star Game
New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera had announced that the 2013 season would be his last. Rivera was prolific out of the bullpen, holding records for the most saves in addition to his five World Series championships. At the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York, Rivera was given a standing ovation as he made his way from the bullpen to the mound. He then proceeded to retire all three batters he faced and was the first reliever to be named the All-Star Game MVP.