Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cleveland Indians' Sandy Alomar Jr. Wins All-Star Game MVP


On July 8, 1997, the 68th annual Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star game was played.  

The game took place at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio and hometown hero, Cleveland Indians catcher, Sandy Alomar Jr., was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. 

Alomar Jr. is the only player to win an All-Star game MVP and have his brother win the All-Star game MVP the next year, as Roberto Alomar did in the 1998 All-Star game.

Sandy Alomar Jr. (left) taking a curtain call at the 1997 MLB All-Star Game.
The American League went on to win 1997 All-Star game by a score of 3-1, it was one of the lowest scoring games in All-Star game history.

Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning.  The game remained 1-0 until the seventh inning, when Javy Lopez of the Atlanta Braves tied it with a solo shot of his own.  

However, in the bottom half of the inning Sandy Alomar Jr. would hit the game winning home run, a two-run shot off San Francisco Giants pitcher Shawn Estes.

Sandy Alomar Jr. became the first player to be named All-Star Game MVP while playing in his home stadium. MLB CEO Paul Beeston awarded Alomar with the trophy, as the MLB commissioner position was vacant at the time.

Alomar Jr. put together a solid career in MLB playing 20 seasons, earning the 1990 AL Rookie of the Year and also earning the 1990 American League Gold Glove for catchers, and being selected to six All-Star games between 1990 and 1998. He finished his career with a .274 batting average, 112 home runs and 588 RBI’s.

In 2008, Alomar Jr. began his coaching career starting with the New York Mets acting as the catching instructor. He filled that role in 2008 and 2009. After the 2009 season Manny Acta the Indians manager hired Alomar Jr. to be the teams first base coach. He filled that role during the 2010 and 2011 season. After the completion of the 2011 season Alomar Jr. was promoted to being the Indians manager, a position he held for one year, but since he has taken over the duty as being the teams bench coach, the position he currently resides in.
 
Alomar Jr. was inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame in August of 2009.