Thursday, July 10, 2014

2001 MLB All-Star Game

On July 10, 2001, the MLB All-Star game took place and the Seattle Mariners were well represented. Eight members of the team that would win a record 116 games played at hometown Safeco Field, yet it was Cal Ripken Jr. who stole the show. Before the game, Ripken was offered his old shortstop position by Alex Rodriguez (Ripken had been a third basemen for several years). Then, in the third inning, Ripken sailed the first pitch he saw from Chan Ho Park over the left-field wall for a home run, making him the oldest player (40) to hit a homer in an All-Star game.

The American League won 4-1 and Ripken Jr. was named the MVP. It was both he and Tony Gwynn's final season, and the two were honored after the game. For Ripken it was the perfect sign off for what was a tremendous career in Baltimore. Gwynn had been named as an honorary All-Star and was unable to play in the game, to the disappointment of many.

Also making headlines was honorary third base coach Tommy Lasorda, the former Dodgers manager. In the sixth inning, Vladimir Guerrero's shattered bat flew out of his hands and right at Lasorda. It knocked the former Dodger to the ground, where he tumbled on his back. Initially, everyone was nervous when the old man hit the grass, but the masses erupted in laughter when they saw he was okay.

The humor in seeing Lasorda fall on his backside was that he was an explosive manager who, among other things, was not timid when it came to dropping obscenities.