New York Yankees’ legendary shortstop Derek Jeter made his fourteenth and final appearance in the MLB All-Star Game last night at Target Field in Minneapolis. Jeter got a pair of hits and scored the first run of the game, but, more importantly, was given the type of heartwarming sendoff that we have come to expect from the midsummer classic. Here are five other times baseball’s gathering of stars left us with something memorable to talk about.
1. Ted Williams’ Return To Fenway Park (1999)
In case it wasn’t cool enough to trot out the greatest hitter in the game’s history before the game, just look at this video and count the murderers’ row of future Hall-of-Famers in this clip:
That’s not even counting the guys that will never make it into the Hall strictly based on the steroid speculation surrounding that era of baseball. Unfortuntately for Bud Selig, he can keep the players out, but he can’t erase the memories created by baseball during the ’90s.
2. Mariano Rivera Flies Solo At Citi Field (2013)
The Mariano Rivera Retirement Tour made a midseason stop across town at Citi Field for the 2013 version of the Midsummer Classic. AL Manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure that Rivera got a chance to pitch in his final All-Star Game, so he brought the closer in for the eighth inning rather than the ninth. As Rivera trotted in from the bullpen to his iconic warmup song – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica – both teams remained in the dugout, allowing the crowd to focus its adoration solely on the Yanks’ fireman that made a career out of throwing one mostly unhittable pitch (WARNING: big time nerd alert on the link).
3. Cal Ripken Homers In Final Game At Safeco Field (2001)
Ripken was making his nineteenth All-Star appearance, with fourteen of those coming as a shortstop. He was scheduled to start at third base, after sliding over in the latter years of his career after his range diminished. As the AL took the field for the top of the first, shortstop Alex Rodriguez relinquished his position and switched spots with Ripken, allowing Ripken to set the record for most All-Star appearances at shortstop (fifteen). Then, in the bottom half, Chan Ho Park piped one right down the middle to Ripken, who crushed it over the wall for a solo homer. Ripken would garner MVP honors for the second time in his career, just the fourth player at the time to do so.
4. Pete Rose Levels Ray Fosse At Riverfront Stadium (1970)
Bottom of the twelfth, all knotted up at four – doesn’t sound like the time for Charlie Hustle to lay off, even in an exhibition game. So, he didn’t. Rose came barreling around third as the potential winning run, lowered his shoulder into a young Ray Fosse, and knocked the ball loose to secure the win for the National League. This play is noteworthy not because of Rose’s hustle, but the fact that the collision caused a fracture and a dislocation of Fosse’s shoulder that was improperly diagnosed, leading to permanent damage that derailed the career of the promising young catcher.
5. Tie Game At Miller Park (2002)
Unfortunately, one of the most memorable moments (at least of this generation) in All-Star history was also the most disappointing. After a grossly mismanaged game in which both teams ran out of pitchers in the eleventh inning, Bud Selig elected to end the game in a 7-7 tie. Not content with merely ruining one game, Selig doubled down on the issue by declaring after that debacle that the game would “mean something” and would determine home-field advantage for the World Series in subsequent years.