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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Top of the 1st
78 FACTS ABOUT THE ALL-STAR GAME
1. “Arch (Ward) called me one day and asked me to have dinner with him. I didn’t know he had anything in mind other than a sociable dinner until he sprang the All-Star Game idea on me, and I was flabbergasted at first. The idea was sound enough since that was the first year of the World’s Fair in Chicago and Arch wanted to make an All-Star Game one of the highlights. His sales pitch was that it would be a wonderful thing for baseball. I told Arch I would submit the proposition to the owners. The American League owners finally agreed after considerable discussion that it would join strictly as an attraction for the 1933 Fair. At first the National League opposed it, but finally agreed to play the game for only one year. The game turned out to be so wonderful and so well accepted by the fans that the owners quickly agreed to continue the game and it became a solid fixture.” – Will Harridge in Professional Baseball: The First 100 Years (1976)
2. All-Star starting pitcher Danny Haren started the season giving up just one earned run in his first 13 innings pitched, but was 0-2.
3. All-Star starting pitcher Jake Peavy struck out 16 Diamondbacks on April 25 in only 7 innings. He lost the game, 3-2.
4. The first All-Star game was held on July 6, 1933 in Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox.
5. Ted Williams said, “They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.”
6. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in All Star play.
7. No alcohol is allowed in either the American League or National League All-Star clubhouses.
8. Mariano Rivera saved the last two All-Star games for the AL. He did not make the squad this year.
9. J.J. Putz has converted all 24 save of his opportunities, posting a 0.88 earned-run average and holding opponents to a .129 batting average. His full name is Joseph Jason Putz.
10. The NL hasn’t won an All-Star Game since 1996.
11. Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was the NL’s leading vote-getter at 2,986,818 votes.
12. Alex Rodriguez leads the majors with 30 home runs this season, and has 494 in his career. He turns 32 on July 27.
13. First baseman Prince Fielder leads the NL with 29 home runs, but is batting sixth in the All-Star lineup.
14. Outfielder Carlos Beltran has a .264 average, including .234 in May, .238 in June and .192 in July.
15. Manny Ramirez, one of six Red Sox players on the AL roster, is hitting .284 with 11 homers and 45 RBIs. He was a no-show on media day.
16. Keep up with the thoughts and highlights of Barry B*nds at www.barrybonds.com.
17. Junior Griffey, 37, is hitting .286 with 23 home runs and 58 RBI and is tied with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for sixth all time with 586 homers.
18. Don Drysdale threw the most All-Star innings: 19.3
19. Drysdale also holds the record with 19 All-Star Ks.
20. ESPN won’t be allowed to broadcast its “Baseball Tonight” show live from the All-Star game. Major League Baseball limited ESPN’s access this week after the cable network broke an embargo and announced the All-Star rosters before the end of a selection show on TBS.
21. The Yankees (42-43) reached the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since 1995.
22. Mickey Mantle holds the record with 17 All-Star strikeouts.
23. Willie Mays had six straight hits off of Whitey Ford over four All-Star Games.
24. Vladamir Guerrero topped Alex Rios of the Blue Jays, 3-2 to win the Home Run Derby despite having fewer overall home runs (17-19) than Rios.
25. Roger Clemens has pitched in the most All-Star games: 10.
26. The Mariners’ duo of J.J. Putz and Ichiro, didn’t even have to change hotels — or rooms, for that matter — for the All-Star game. They just completed a four-game series with Oakland and the Mariners stay at the Westin-St. Francis in San Francisco when they face the A’s, and that was the players’ headquarters for the All-Star Game.
27. In 1990, six AL pitchers combined for a two hitter and a 2-0 victory over the NL in a rain-delayed All Star game at Wrigley Field. Rangers second baseman Julio Franco drove home both runs in the 7th inning and was named MVP.
28. Mel Harder pitched 13 shutout All-Star innings.
29. The National League won 19 of 20 All-Star Games from 1963-82.
30. The American League is unbeaten (9-0-1) in the last 10 Games.
31. Barry B*nds is batting second for the NL All-Stars. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, B*nds hasn’t batted second in a game since June 6, 1987.
32. Willie Mays hold the All-Star records for at-bats (75), hits (23), runs (20), steals (six) and multiple-hit games (six). He’s the co-leader in extra-base hits (eight), total bases (40) and triples (three) and is fourth in homers (three) and RBIs (nine). He batted .307 and was the starting center fielder 18 times in one 20-game stretch.
33. The American League won the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday at AT&T Park, 13-9. Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers picked up the win and hit two homers for the AL.
34. The All-Star game at Fenway Park on July 31, 1961 ended in a rain-soaked 1-1 tie.
35. Brooks Robinson had 68 triples in 10,654 regular season at bats. He had 3 triples in 45 All-Star at bats.
36. The last time the All-Star Game was held in San Francisco was in 1984 when the NL beat the AL, 3-1 in Candlestick Park. Gary Carter was the MVP.
37. Last year’s All-Star game Rangers shortstop Michael Young hit a two-out, two-run triple off Padres closer Trevor Hoffman that enbled the American League beat the National League, 3-2.
38. Dave Winfield hit 7 doubles in 38 All-Star plate appearances.
39. Two All-Star Games were held per year from 1959-62 with the second game added to raise money for players’ pension funds and other charities.
40. Ted Williams holds the record with 12 All-Star RBI.
41. Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Chin-Lung Hu had a pair of RBI hits and stole a base, leading the World team to a 7-2 victory over the U.S. team in the All-Star Futures game on Sunday.
42. In 1934, at the Polo Grounds in New York, New York Giants lefthander Carl Hubbell allowed the first two batters to get on base. He then struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmy Foxx to end the inning. In the second, he struck out Al Simmons and Joe Cronin before Bill Dickey singled. Hubbell then fanned AL pitcher Lefty Gomez to close the inning.
43. Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Willie Mays each appeared in 24 All-Star games.
44. Hank Aaron played for the NL 23 times and the AL once.
45. NL manager Tony La Russa was the manager in St. Louis when the Cardinals traded AL starting pitcher Danny Haren to the A’s for Mark Mulder.
46. Fifty years to day after Hubbell’s feat, Fernando Valenzuela struck out American League All-Stars Dave Winfield. Reggie Jackson, and George Brett. Then in the next inning, Dwight Gooden, at 19 the youngest All-Star ever, struck out Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis.
47. The Phillies’ Aaron Rowand is making his first all-star appearance in this, his free-agent year. The Phillies have had no contact with or his representation about a contract extension.
48. Speaking of the Phillies, Richie Ashburn holds the record for the highest lifetime All-Star batting average going 6 for 10 for a .600 average.
49. Charlie Gehringer had 29 All-Star plate appearances hitting .500 with 10 hits and 9 walks.
50. Since 1970, the fans have selected the starters while the managers select pitchers and remaining players.
51. Derek Jeter is 7 for 13 in All-Star games; his .538 average is the highest among active players.
52. This is the fifth season in which the winner of the All-Star Game provides home-field advantage in the World Series. The AL is 4-0 in the all-Star Game but just 2-2 in the World Series since the format change. While AL teams won in sweeps in 2004 and `05, NL teams that went on to win it all won away games to start the `06 and `03 series.
53. The first All-Star MVP was Leon “Daddy Wags” Wagner in 1962.
54. Stan Musial holds the record with 6 All-Star homers.
55. There have been 169 home runs in All-Star Game history, 3 leading off game, 3 game-ending, 57 go ahead, 20 tying.
56. The longest All-Star game was 15 innings in 1967 in Anaheim.
57. Fred Lynn hit the last and only All-Star grand slam in 1983 off of Atlee Hammaker.
58. The 1945 game was not played due to World War II.
59. Alex Rodriguez, now an 11-time American League All-Star who has been fan-elected 10 times, finished as baseball’s overall balloting leader with 3,890,515 votes.
60. For Barry B*nds and Pudge Rodriguez this will be each of their 14th All-Star selection.
61. Roberto Alomar, Kelly Gruber, Kenny Lofton, and Willie Mays each stole two bases in an All-Star game.
62. The largest attendance for an All-Star game was 72,086 in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium in 1981.
63. The smallest attendance for an All-Star game was 25,556 in Boston’s Braves Field in 1936.
64. Casey Stengel managed the most All-Star games, 10.
65. Walter Alston managed the most All-Star wins, 7.
66. Casey Stengel managed the most All-Star losses, 6.
67. Brooks Robinson played on 15 losing All-Star teams.
68. At 47 years and 7 days, Satchel Paige was the oldest All-Star.
69. Pete Rose played first base, left field, right field, second base, and third base in all-star games
70. On July 9, 1940, at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, the shortest All-Star game was played – 1:53.
71. Al Kaline is the honorary captain this year for the American League.
72. Mickey Owen hit the first pinch-hit home run in 1942.
73. David Wright and Vlad Guerrero each hit homers in last year’s Game.
74. In 1981, Garry Templeton said, “If I ain’t startin’, I am departin’.”
75. Twenty players from the 1971 game wound up in the Hall of Fame.
76. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran – who led their respective leagues in this year’s voting through late June – are each playing for their third team.
77. In 2001, in his his final season and 19th All-Star Game, Cal Ripken, Jr. homered and was named MVP for the second time.
78. This is the 78th All-Star Game. The National League leads the American League in All-Star Game victories, 40-35. Two games have ended in ties.
Top of the 9th
ENJOY THE GAME!
Coverage begins at 8 pm EST on Fox-TV.
Bottom of the 9th
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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports, espn.com, sportsline.com, mlb.com and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.