Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.
The 2002 MLB All-Star Game might not be filled with memorable moments in every inning.
It also did not have an MVP.
And there was no winner.
Let’s start the tape!
Bonds and Williams
The beginning of the game is dominated by the two best leftfielders of all-time.
The broadcast starts with a tribute to Red Sox Legend Ted Williams who had passed away four days before the game.
Then the biggest moment of the game comes when Bonds gets to the plate in the bottom of the first. As a reminder, Bonds in the early 2000’s was essentially a video game cheat code (cough). In 2002, he hit 73 HR (more than anyone else ever!) and had an OPS near 1.400.
As he faced off against Red Sox reclamation starter Derek Lowe, it seemed destined for Bonds to launch one into the stands. Lowe had used his deadly sinker to get Jose Vidro and Todd Helton to ground out to Alex Rodriguez. But this was different and on a 1-1 pitch Bonds launched the ball to deep right center.
Then Torii Hunter logged on with one of the best plays in All-Star game history.
Bonds did eventually get his 2002 ASG homerun when he went deep off Roy Halladay in the 3rd inning.
Just to reiterate how completely nuts Williams and Bonds were at hitting baseballs (and not getting into the scandal of the latter stage of Bonds’ career), here are some numbers:
- In 1941, Williams had a slash line in his THIRD season of .406/.553/.735/1.287, with 36 HR and 142 walks
- In 2004, Barry Bonds had a slash line of .362/.609/.812/1.422, with 45 HR and 232 walks
This piece from ESPN has some other mind-blowing stats for Teddy Ballgame, including that Williams seemed to be the cause of defensive shifts.
The Yankees Presence
This game featured SIXTEEN players who were either on the New York Yankees or would later be on the team.
- Ichiro Suzuki (starter)
- Alex Rodriguez (starter)
- Jason Giambi (starter)
- Jorge Posada (starter)
- Alfonso Soriano (starter)
- Derek Lowe (starter)
- Robin Ventura
- Johnny Damon
- Randy Winn
- Derek Jeter
- Mariano Rivera
- Freddy Garcia
- Richie Sexson
- Andruw Jones
- Lance Berkman
- Randy Johnson
Also, Mike Lowell was in this game and started his career with the Yankees.
But to be fair, who gives a shit about any of this? The Yankees are the worst.
Here are a few things to store in your brain to make conversation:
- Garrett Anderson was on the AL team and was also on the Angels when they were the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- This was the first time the fans were allowed to vote in the 30th player. Johnny Damon won for the AL and Andruw Jones won for the NL.
- Albert Pujols lost in the fan vote to Jones but went on to finish 2nd in the MVP (behind Bonds).
- After this game ended in a tie (spoiler), MLB decided to award home field advantage in the World Series to the team from the league who won the All-Star game that year. This lasted from 2003-2016.
Mike Lowell is on second base as Freddy Garcia pitches to Benito Santiago with two outs. The score is 7-7, it’s the bottom of the 11th inning and there are two outs.
Fans know there is a chance the game is about to end in a tie and begin chanting “Let them play!”.
Garcia strikes out Santiago.
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