The stars will shine at the 83rd MLB All-Star game

By Chuck Fiebernitz | Jul 05, 2012
Photo by: MLB AL Manager Connie Mack, left, and NL Manager John McGraw before the first MLB All-Star Game in 1933.

An ambundance of the game’s stars will shine Tuesday night, July 10, at the 83rd Major League All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 10, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton received 11,073,744 votes, which shattered  the previous record of 7,454,753 set last season by Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista.
But what about other more important records (set on the playing field) and firsts from the previous 82 All-Star games.
From the first-everAll-Star Game, which made its debut on July 6, 1933, at Chicago’s Comiskey Park (won by the AL, 4-2), New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth belted the first home run in the bottom of the third inning. He drove in Detroit Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer.  
Ruth’s homer was also the first for the American League, while St. Louis’ Frankie Frisch hit an HR in the sixth for the National League.
What about some other All-Star famous firsts from the 1933 game?
Did you know that the first run batted in during an All-Star Game was by a pitcher? That historic RBI belongs to Philadelphia Athletics’ Lefty Gomez, who singled in Jimmie Dykes during the second inning.
An interesting tidbit about the “Midsummer Classic” is the last season where two all-star games were played during the same season was in 1962. This was also the first year a committee of writers and executives in attendance voted for an All-Star Most Valuable Player Award.
In 1962, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills was the first player to receive the most valuable player award.
According to the Baseball Almanac, the MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award was originally called the Arch Ward Memorial Award in honor of sportswriter Arch Ward, who is credited with the idea of having this middle-of- the season classic event.
In 1970 the award was renamed The Commissioner’s Trophy and 14 years later it resumed its original title. In 2002, which is the only year where no player won the award, it was renamed the Ted Williams Award in honor of the deceased slugger.
Here’s are some more interesting tidbits and records set in the Midsummer Classic since 1933.
San Francisco’s Juan Marichal was the first pitcher to win the most valuable player award.
Since the All-Star Most Valuable Player award started in 1962, American League players have received it 24 times and National League players have received it 26 times.
San Francisco Giants centerfielder Willie Mays was the first player to win the All-Star Most Valuable Player award more than once and one of only four players who have won it twice. The other players are Cal Ripken, Jr., Gary Carter and Steve Garvey.
The “Say Hey Kid” also holds  nine career all-star game hitting records. He has the most hits (23), most games played (tied with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial with 24), most at bats (75), extra base hits (tied with Musial with 8), most runs scored (20), most stolen bases (6), most total bases (40), most triples (3 tied with Baltimore’s Brooks Robinson) and most games played on a winning team (tied with Aaron with 17).
New York Yankees’ Mickey Mantle struck out more times than any other all-star with 17 whiffs over the course of a career that included 16 all-star games.
Joe DiMaggio and Pete Rose are the only two players to ground into double plays three times during their All-Star careers.
Musial has the record for homers with six All-Star round-trippers, Ted Williams holds the career RBI record (12) and Gomez has the most wins with three.
This list is just a few interesting tidbits and records for the Midsummer Classic.
As for the 83rd MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City on Tuesday night, I truly expect another exciting classic.
It will be Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones’ final all-star game  and it would be fantastic to see him win the M/V/P. if the NL wins.
But I think the AL will  win  this year’s game, and at age 38, New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter probably won’t be playing in many more midsummer Classics.
And Jeter winning the award would be a great story, so if he’s close, I think the writers will try to push him through. If he gets two hits with at least one going for extra bases and plays solid defense,  he’ll be the 2012  most valuable all-star.
But it’s all a guess. I just grill a bunch of hot dogs, sit with an adult beverage and watch the greatest professional all-star game ever.

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