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All-Star Game '99


American League

P  Pedro Martinez, Boston
C   Ivan Rodriguez, Texas
1B Jim Thome, Cleveland
2B Roberto Alomar, Cleveland
3B Cal Ripken, Jr., Baltimore
SS Nomar Garciparra, Boston
OF Ken Griffey, Jr., Seattle
OF Manny Ramirez, Cleveland
OF Kenny Lofton, Cleveland
DH Jose Canseco, Tampa Bay*
DH Raphael Palmeiro, Baltimore
C   Brad Ausmus, Detroit
1B John Jaha, Oakland
2B Jose Offerman, Boston
SS Omar Vizquel, Cleveland
SS Derek Jeter, New York
3B Tony Fernandez, Toronto
3B Ron Coomer, Minnesota
OF B.J. Surhoff, Baltimore
OF Shawn Green, Toronto
OF Magglio Ordonez, Chicago
OF Bernie Williams, New York
OF Harold Baines, Baltimore
P   Mike Mussina, Baltimore
P   Jose Rosado, Kansas City
P   Charles Nagy, Cleveland
P   David Cone, New York
RP Roberto Hernandez, Tampa Bay
RP Troy Percival, Anaheim
RP Mariano Rivera, New York*
RP John Wetteland, Texas
RP Jeff Zimmerman, Texas

National League

P  Curt Schilling, Philadelphia
C   Mike Piazza, New York
1B Mark McGwire, St. Louis
2B Jay Bell, Arizona
3B Matt Williams, Arizona
SS Barry Larkin, Cincinnati
OF Sammy Sosa, Chicago
OF Larry Walker, Colorado
OF Tony Gwynn, San Diego*
OF Jeromy Burnitz, Milwaukee
DH Jeff Bagwell, Houston
C   Mike Lieberthal, Philadelphia
C   Dave Nilsson, Milwaukee
1B Sean Casey, Cincinnati
2B Jeff Kent, San Fransisco
3B Ed Sprague, Pittsburgh
SS Alex Gonzalez, Florida
OF Vladimir Guerrero, Montreal
OF Brian Jordan, Atlanta
OF Luis Gonzalez, Arizona
OF Gary Sheffield, Los Angeles
P   Randy Johnson, Arizona
P   Paul Byrd, Philadelphia
P   Jose Lima, Houston
P   Mike Hampton, Houston
P   Kent Bottenfield, St. Louis
P   Kevin Millwood, Atlanta
P   Andy Ashby, San Diego
RP Billy Wagner, Houston
RP Trevor Hoffman, San Diego
RP Robb Nen, San Fransisco*
RP Scott Williamson, Cincinnati

* withdrew from game due to injury

All-Star Game '99
~ July 13 ~
Fenway Park, Boston

It's not often a major sporting event lives up to its hype. But the 1999 All-Star Game did, perhaps even surpassing expectations. Billed as the last All-Star Game of the century by Major League Baseball, the game was held in historic Fenway Park, which has seen more 20th century baseball than any other ballpark.

The night began with the introduction of candidates for an All-Century Team of the best players in the 1900's. The All-Century Team's sponsor, MasterCard, had selected 100 candidates for the team, and fan voting determined the best 30-man squad. Thirty-three of the candidates, almost all the living members on the list, were present and were introduced before the game. Among the players are former Red Sox greats Carlton Fisk, Roger Clemens (who was heartily booed by the Fenway Faithful), Carl Yastrzemski, and Dennis Eckersley. Juan Marichal and Tom Seaver, who each played one year with the Sox, were also in attendance. Other old-timers welcomed included Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial. But the biggest baseball celebrity had yet to enter the field.

Teddy Ballgame throws out the first pitch The 1999 All-Stars were introduced next, completing the greatest collection of baseball talent ever assembled at one time. And then Ted Williams entered. Announced as The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived, Williams rode in a cart to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. As he circled right field on the warning track, the Splendid Splinter made sure to tip his cap repeatedly to the cheering fans. When he reached the infield, the past and current All-Star players, still lined up from their introductions, spontaneously gathered around Williams. The most revered Red Sox legend sought out and spoke briefly with Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, and Nomar Garciaparra. The feel-good Fenway moment was broken up by the P.A. announcer, who reminded the participants that there was still a game that needed to be played. With Gwynn's assistance and with Carlton Fisk catching, Ted Williams threw out the first pitch.

It seemed the game would be anticlimactic after the emotional moment that had already occurred, but a current Red Sox legend-in-the-making saw to it that there was more excitement to come. Pedro Martinez took the mound a few minutes later, and made history. In the first inning, he struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa in order. Leading off the second, he struck out Mark McGwire. Walker led the National League with a .382 average, Sosa led with 32 home runs at the break, and of course McGwire owned the single-season home run record. But all four were powerless against Pedro, who became the first player ever to strike out the first four batters in an All-Star Game. Matt Williams reached base on Roberto Alomar's fielding error, ending the strikeout streak. So Pedro promptly struck out Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez gunned down Williams trying to steal to end the second inning. Pedro's five strikeouts tied an American League All-Star Game record, held by, among others, former Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz.

Nomar Garciaparra batted in the first, flying out to deep right-center. With Nomar due up to lead off the third, manager Joe Torre let him play an extra inning. He again flied out to center. At the start of the fourth, after Nomar took the field, Torre sent Derek Jeter out to replace him at shortstop, allowing the hometown favorite to depart to a chorus of cheers. When Jeter reached Nomar, the two embraced. In Jeter's only at-bat the next inning, he attempted to imitate Nomar's rhythmic foot-tapping in the batter's box. He struck out.

The rest of the game was rather anticlimactic. Jose Offerman, the other member of the Red Sox to make the team, grounded out in his only at-bat and made an error in the field. The American League scored four runs, on RBI hits by Jim Thome, Raphael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, and Cal Ripken Jr., who started his record 16th consecutive All-Star Game. The National League scored its only run off David Cone in the third. Ken Griffey Jr. grounded out in his at-bat against his former teammate Randy Johnson. No player on either team hit a home run, or even hit one off the Green Monster. No one managed more than one hit. Pitching was definitely the story in this game played in the cozy hitter's park. The two teams combined for an All-Star record 22 strikeouts. And the best pitcher of the night was winning pitcher Pedro Martinez. His performance made him an easy choice for the game's M.V.P., much to the delight of the sell-out crowd. The 34,187 in attendance had certainly witnessed a game they would never forget.

All-Star Quotes

Pedro is the M.V.P. Pedro Martinez: "It's been great. Out of all the All-Star Games I've been in, this is probably the most exciting one I've been to. I didn't know that Boston was going to be so much on top of the All-Star Game. I've been to a few of them, but what happened with Boston? What's here? Do the people eat baseball and drink baseball? It's unbelievable. I don't really have the words to explain how good it feels just to be part of it."

Larry Walker: "I hope the grounds crew doesn't get too mad, because I tore this piece of grass out of right field. I'm taking it home, and I'm going to have it forever. I struck out and hit a comebacker to the mound at Fenway Park and I'm pretty proud of it."

T-shirts worn by some fans: "Hey Roger Clemens, we're at the All-Star game at Fenway Park and you're not."

Larry Walker: "Were you throwing 400 miles an hour?"
Pedro Martinez: "I don't think so."

Jim Thome: "It was like something out of 'Field of Dreams.'"

Ted Williams: "Wasn't it great! I can only describe it as great. It didn't surprise me all that much because I know how these fans are here in Boston. They love this game as much as any players and Boston's lucky to have the faithful Red Sox fans. They're the best."

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