700 HRC All-Star Memories
Written by Jim Rednour   
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Original All-Star MVP Babe Ruth Set Standard For Measuring Future All-Star MVPs  

While Major League Baseball’s tradition of selecting the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player to recognize the most outstanding performer in each year’s game, didn’t begin until 1962, everyone knew who baseball’s most valuable star was when the league held its first All-Star Game as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago.  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 “Midsummer Classic at Chicago’s 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.

"He was a circus, a play and a movie, all rolled into one," said teammate Lefty Gomez. "Kids adored him, Men idolized him. Women loved him. There was something about him that made him great." Babe Ruth was more than a great baseball player, he was an American hero who became a legend and an icon. Long after his last home run, his name has come to signify greatness and strength.

Hank Aaron Was Brightest Star in All-Star History

Although he played in a record-setting 24 All-Star Games, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron never took home the MVP Award.  He was, however, one of the AL’s most productive and consistent representatives.  Only Willie Mays and Stan Musial appeared in as many All-Star contests.  On July 12, 1955, Aaron went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in a 6-3 National League win.  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 Mid-Summer Classic and Aaron thrilled the hometown crowd by hammering one out in the sixth inning off the Cleveland Indians' Gaylord Perry.

Bonds Leads HR Blitz at Coors Field   

In what has come to be known as the "Year of the Homer," Barry Bonds and several other young sluggers, including Alex Rodriguez all homered in 1998 at Coors Field in the highest scoring game in All-Star history, Bonds  mammoth three-run homer contributed mid-game suspense before the AL scored in each of the final six innings to set a All-Star record for the most innings scored in the game by one team. The 21 combined runs are an All-Star Game record.