Sports: Baseball All-Star Game

Major League Baseball began playing its Midsummer Classic, the All-Star Game, back in 1933. Babe Ruth hit a home run in the first game. Uploaded to Flickr by B.Smile.

Baseball has been playing an All-Star game since 1933, and though there have been some bumps along the way, for the most part it’s been done with integrity. The other major sports followed baseball’s lead, but their all-star games are all a big joke. This is one of the few ways that baseball still gets it right.

Uploaded to Flickr by guyonthecomputer.

Fans vote in the starting lineups for both the American and National League teams, players pick most of the reserves, and managers fill out the roster. This process changes from time to time, but giving the paying public the ability to choose the starters earns the game popular support, even if the best players are sometimes left off in favor of the most popular ones.

There have been some wonderful moments in All-Star game history. In 1934, Carl Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in a row – five future hall-of-famers. In 1955, Stan Musial hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th to give the Nationals a victory. In 1970, Pete Rose bowled over catcher Ray Fosse, also in the bottom of the 12th, causing the catcher to drop the ball and the National League gained another win. And in 2001, in what everyone knew was his final All-Star game appearance, Cal Ripken homered to bring a fairy-tale conclusion to his storied career in the Midsummer Classic…

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