MLB's All-Star Game represents the symbolic halfway point of the season. Once merely an exhibition of baseball's greatest talents, the Midsummer Classic took on greater meaning after 2002, when Commissioner Bud Selig decided to award World Series home-field advantage to the league that wins the All-Star Game.
The first contest was played in 1933 and has been held every year since, save a pause in 1945 during World War II. From 1959 to 1962, two All-Star Games were held each season. The record: NL 42, AL 38, two ties. The 2013 All-Star Game is July 16, at Citi Field in New York. It will be broadcast on FOX.
July 10, 2001, at Safeco Field in Seattle
Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles hit a first-inning home run in his 19th, and final, All-Star appearance. The American League defeated the National League, 4–1. Watch video of this moment.
July 10, 1934, at the New York Polo Grounds
NL pitcher Carl Hubbell struck out five future Hall of Famers in succession — Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. The American League won, 9-7. Watch video of this moment.
July 13, 1993, at Camden Yards in Baltimore
Imposing Phillies first baseman John Kruk had a memorable at-bat against Seattle Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson, no slouch himself in the intimidation department. Johnson's first pitch was so far inside and above the outfielder's head that Kruk, feigning a heart attack, backed up nearly to the on-deck circle. Kruk then flailed wildly at two 98 mph fastballs and returned to the dugout laughing. The American League won, 9-3. Watch video of this moment.
July 9, 1946, Fenway Park in Boston
Ted Williams (shown with Tony Gwynn at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway) and several other players had just returned from serving in World War II. The highlight of the game was the match-up between Williams and Rip Sewell, whose trademark was the "eephus" pitch — basically a lob ball. Williams went 4-for-4, with two home runs, driving in five. Since 2002, the MVP Award for the All-Star Game has been named for Williams. Watch video of Ted Williams and other legends being honored at the 1999 All-Star Game.
The National League overcame a five-run deficit in this edition of the Midsummer Classic. Stan Musial (shown at the 2009 All-Star Game at Busch Stadium) led off the bottom of the 12th inning by hammering a walk-off home run to deep right field on the first pitch he saw from Frank Sullivan. The National League won, 6-5. Watch video of this moment.
July 13, 1999, at Fenway Park in Boston
In the first inning, Pedro Martinez struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker and Sammy Sosa. He also dominated in the second, striking out Mark McGwire. After Matt Williams reached base on an error, Martinez struck out Jeff Bagwell and Williams was caught stealing second. Martinez was MVP. Ted Williams threw out the first pitch. The American League won, 4-1.
July 6, 1983, at Comiskey Park in Chicago
In the 50th anniversary game, California Angels center fielder Fred Lynn hit the first, and still the only, grand slam in All-Star history to right field on a 2-2 pitch with two out, capping a seven-run inning. The American League won, 13-3. Watch video of this moment.
July 10, 1984, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco
In the fourth inning, Dodgers ace Fernando Valenzuela struck out Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson and George Brett. In the fifth, the Mets' teenage phenom Dwight Gooden fanned Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis. The six consecutive strikeouts set an All-Star record, breaking five by Carl Hubbell 50 years earlier. The National League won, 3-1. Watch video of this moment.
July 9, 2002, at Miller Field in Milwaukee
The 2002 game marked the inaugural All-Star Final Vote competition (then known as the "The All-Star 30th Man" competition). Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones represented the American and National leagues as a result of this contest. To lead off the bottom of the first, Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit a long fly ball to center that looked destined to give the NL the early lead. Twins outfielder Torii Hunter leapt up and reached over the wall to rob Bonds of a homer. Bonds playfully picked up Hunter as the NL took the field the next inning. The game ended in a tie. Really.
July 13, 1971, Tiger Stadium in Detroit
Reggie Jackson, then with the A's, hit a towering home run with a man on base in the third inning. The shot hit one of the light standards on the roof of the stadium, an estimated 520 feet from home plate. Jackson's jolt started the AL's comeback. American Leagers Jackson, Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew each hit a two-run homer. This was Roberto Clemente's final All-Star appearance. The American League won, 6-4. Watch video of this moment.
July 14, 1970, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati
In the bottom of the 12th inning, Reds outfielder Pete Rose slid hard into home plate, flattening American League catcher Ray Fosse. Both players were injured and Fosse dropped the ball, allowing Rose to score the winning run. Rose was roundly criticized for the play, as many felt it was too aggressive in what amounted to an exhibition game. The 23-year-old Fosse suffered a fractured and separated left shoulder. The National League won, 5-4. Watch video of this moment.
July 9, 2002, at Miller Park in Milwaukee
In one of his most unpopular decisions, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig decided to call the 2002 All-Star Game in the 11th inning. The teams were deadlocked and neither squad had any pitchers in the bullpen. The game ended in a 7-7 tie as the crowd chanted "Let them play." No MVP award was given. Beginning the next year, home-field advantage in the World Series was awarded to league that wins the All-Star Game. This was actually not the first All-Star Game tie. The second Midsummer Classic of 1961 was halted by rain after nine innings and ended in a 1-1 tie.