500 HRC Members Sparkle and Shine in All-Star Games Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Saturday, 30 June 2007

Aging But Still Splendid Babe Stars at 1st All-Star Game

The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago and was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune. Thirty-eight-year-old Babe Ruth, a crowd pleaser to the end, belted the first All-Star home run in the third inning of the inaugural All-Star Game in 1933 (Chicago, Comiskey Park).  Ruth also made a dazzling late-inning catch to secure the 4-2 win for the American League. The spectacle and excitement generated by this first All-Star Game ensured that it would be an annual event.

Hank Aaron Was Brightest Star in All-Star History

On July 12, 1955 Aaron played in his first All-Star Game and went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in a 6-3 win for the National League. It marked the first of a record-tying 24 All-Star Games for Aaron. Only Willie Mays and Stan Musial appeared in as many All-Star Games.

On July 31, 1971 Aaron homed in an All-Star Game for the first time, connecting off Vida Blue in Detroit.

On July 25, 1972 Atlanta hosted its first All-Star Game, and Aaron thrills the hometown crowd by homering in the sixth inning off the Cleveland Indians' Gaylord Perry.

A-Rod Shines in 1998 All-Star Game Featuring 7 500HRC Members 

In the 1998 All-Star Game at Coors Field in Colorado that featured several eventual 500 Home Run Club members, including:  Ken Griffey, Jr. (605 - Seattle), Rafael Palmeiro (569 - Baltimore), Manny Ramirez (508 - Cleveland) Indians, Jim Thome (525 - Cleveland), Barry Bonds (762 - San Francisco), Mark McGwire (583 - St. Louis), Sammy Sosa (609 - Chicago)…and many more prolific sluggers, including: Roberto Alomar (Baltimore), Sandy Alomar, Jr. (Cleveland), Juan Gonzalez (Texas), Ivan Rodriguez (Texas), Tony Gwynn (San Diego), Mike Piazza (NY Mets), Gary Sheffield (LA), Larry Walker (Colorado)

...it was Alex Rodriguez’s (537 – Seattle) fifth inning home run that broke open a close game and led to an eventual dominate 13-8 American League victory.  “It was a great experience being a part of the highest scoring All-Star Game ever,” A-Rod said after the game.

Fun Fact: A-Rod’s All-Star Game home run came as a kind of sweet revenge after he was eliminated from the All-Star Home Run Derby the day before (July 6, 1998) by eventual winner Ken Griffey, Jr., who did not go deep during the mid-summer classic.

Bonds Join Griffeys as Father-Son All-Star Hitting Heroes

Giants' Barry Bonds also achieved a remarkable feat when he hit a fifth inning 3-run dinger, making him one of only two MLB father-son combinations to hit All-Star Game home runs (Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. are the others).

500 HRC Trio Stars in 1956 All-Star Game


Three of the game’s all-time leading home run hitters: Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams all homered in the 1956 All-Star Game played in Washington’s Griffith Stadium to lead the National League to a 7-3 victory.

Banks Homer Secures All-Star Victory

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks made the first of 15 All-Star appearances in the 1960 All-Star game. Fellow 500 HRC member Willie Mays collected a single, double and triple, but it was the young shortstop who stole the show with a timely double and a game winning two-run homer in a 5-3 NL victory.  Banks ended the season leading the league in HR for the second time, with 41.

Say-Hey Willie Mays Makes 24 All-Star Appearances

"They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays." - Ted Williams

During the 1959 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Willie Mays went 4-for-4, tripling home Hank Aaron with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

Mays continued to excel on the All-Star stage.  In 1965, at Metropolitan Stadium in at Minneapolis, he homered in the first inning to help the National League win the game and take the lead in All-Star victories for the first time, 18-17-1.

1973 marked the debut of the designated hitter and 24th and final All-Star appearance of Willie Mays, arguably the greatest all-round performer in All-Star history. Over the years, Mays batted .307 with 23 hits, including three home runs, three triples and two doubles.  He also made a number of spectacular defensive plays.

Four 500 HRC Stars Go Yard in 1971 Spectacle

The 1971 All-Star Game in Detroit, Tiger Stadium served as a perfect stage to spotlight the power of future 500 Home Run Club members Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Frank Robinson, and Hank Aaron who all hammered home runs in the last All-Star Game played at Tiger Stadium.

Ted Williams Helps Raises a Roar and Money for Charity

During the 1941 All-Star Game, played in Detroit, Briggs Stadium, 500HRC member Ted Williams sent the crowd into a frenzy of excitement when he belted a game-winning three-run HR in the bottom of the ninth.   The game raised $63,267 for the United Service Organization (USO).  Williams continued his All-Star Game heroics in 1946, when after serving three years in the Marine Corps, he returned to the game he loved and went 4-for-4, homering twice and driving in five runs.

Mike Schmidt Show His Stuff To Record All-Star Crowd


In 1981, at Cleveland’s colossal Municipal Stadium, 500 HRC member Mike Schmidt smacked a two run shot in the eighth off Rollie Fingers to secure the win before a record crowd of more than 72,000.

Griffey, Jr. Takes All-Star MVP Honors

In 1992, the most recent 500 Home Run Club inductee Ken Griffey Jr., became the All-Star Game MVP when he went 3-for-3, including a home run deep into the upper deck of San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium.

 




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