The Midsummer Classic has been a staple for baseball fans since 1933. The first game was played at Chicago's Comiskey Park to coincide with the "Century of Progress" exposition. From humble beginnings, the All-Star game has grown into a love-fest catered to fans. Modern baseball is built around hitting home runs.
Try some of these historic dingers in the history of the MLB All-Star game:
First Homer in 1933
Fittingly, the first home run hit in an All-Star game belongs to Babe Ruth. His two-run jack in the bottom of the third inning propelled the American League All-Stars to a 3-0 lead before hanging on for the 4-2 win, according to the Baseball Almanac. Ruth had the game-winning RBI thanks to his homer in 1933 .
NL's First Win in 1936
If not for Augie Galan's heroics in the bottom of the fifth inning, the National League might have started the All-Star game 0-4. The AL had won the first three Midsummer Classics until Galan led off the bottom of the fifth with some controversy. Originally, one umpire called the home run foul before he was overruled by another. That made the game 3-0. Despite a three-run dinger in the top of the 7th inning by Lou Gehrig, the National League hung on for a 4-3 victory in 1936.
Ted Williams' Walk-Off in 1941
Ted Williams hit a 1-1 pitch into the right field stands in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to give the American League a 7-5 victory. The three-run homer was the first to decide the All-Star game in the final at-bat and the first walk-off homer in the history of the Midsummer Classic. It was Williams' second All-Star game in the same year he batted .406.
Ted Williams Went Deep Twice in 1946
The Midsummer Classic was held at Fenway Park in Boston for the first time in 1946. The American League delivered for a 12-0 victory thanks to hometown hero Williams. Perhaps the slugger wanted to make the most of his return to baseball. The previous three seasons, Williams served in the military during the war effort. Williams had a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth and then a three-run homer in the eighth. The line for baseball's top hitter was four RBIs, two runs scored, and a 4-for-4 outing with one walk.
Stan Musial's Extra-Inning Nugget in 1955
Stan Musial was the lead-off man in the bottom of the 12th inning for the National League All-Stars in 1955. The first pitch Musial saw was a fast ball he promptly hit out of the park to finish a shocking comeback by the NL All-Stars. After being down 5-0 after six innings, the NL tied it in the eighth and won in the 12th.
Stan Musial's Last Homer in 1960
Musial hit his sixth and final All-Star homer in the 1960 Midsummer Classic in New York. It was the second All-Star game that year. There were four home runs in the game and the NL needed every last one of them to secure a 10-8 victory. Musial holds the record for most home runs in All-Star competition with six over 24 games. Musial retired three years later.
Willie McCovey's Two Dingers in 1969
Willie McCovey hit a home run in the top of the third and top of the fourth to lead the National League All-Stars to an 11-6 triumph in the only All-Star game ever played in Washington's R.F.K. Stadium. McCovey is one of only four players to hit two home runs in a single All-Star game. No one has hit three in a game.
Fred Lynn's Grand Slam in 1983
There has been one grand slam hit in the entire history of the MLB All-Star game. In the 50th anniversary year of the Midsummer Classic, Fred Lynn took 11 straight AL losses and made up for it in one swing. Lynn's grand slam was part of a seven-run third inning on the way to a 13-3 rout.
Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1992
Ken Griffey, Jr. joined his father as the only father-son duo at the time to homer in the All-Star game. Griffey, Sr. hit a dinger in 1980. Griffey, Jr. was the game's MVP on a 3-for-3 night. Six years later in 1998, Barry Bonds joined his father, Bobby, as the second father-son tandem to hit home runs in the All-Star game.
Cal Ripken, Jr. in 2001
Cal Ripken, Jr., was heading into retirement in 2001 after announcing he was leaving the game at the beginning of the season. In the top of the third inning, Ripken took the first pitch he saw and drove it into the left field bullpen for the first run of the game. It was Chan Ho Park's first All-Star pitch. The slugging shortstop was named the game's MVP and is the oldest player to hit a home run in All-Star history.
William Browning grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan. He has attended a few games at Kauffman Stadium during interleague play against the Royals.