If you were to ask the average baseball fan to name some of the best All-Star Game moments in recent history, I'm willing to bet that two instances from the '02 contest in Milwaukee would get their fair share of mentions.
The second would be Bud Selig's decision to end the game after the 11th inning with the score tied at seven because both teams were out of pitchers.
But hey — surprise, surprise! — neither of them is anywhere to be found on MLB.com's recent article "All-Star Game provides big moments."
The omission of the decision to end the game in a tie — best remembered by the picture of Bud's shrug/dual hand throw — is to be expected. Commissioner Selig is still a bit touchy about that affair and it's probably best not to anger the man who signs your paychecks. Plus, if writer
John Jack O'Connell was aiming for the spectacular, a stalemate in Milwaukee doesn't qualify.
However, it seems that Hunter's superhuman leap to save Bonds' blast from the other side of the Miller Park wall would have been exactly the type of moment MLB is looking to celebrate. Except for the fact, you know, that it involves Barry Bonds and the league hasn't been shy of conveniently forgetting some of his other achievements now that he's out of sight and out of mind.
MLB.com asserts their editorial independence at the end of every story, but there's a reason many of us look at that and smirk every now and then. Especially when, according to that story, Hank Blalock's game-winning home run in the '03 All-Star Game is listed as the second-best Midsummer Classic moment OF ALL TIME.
That Blalock's homer — which I'm not sure many remember all that much — gave the American League homefield advantage for the first time after the commissioner decided to make the ASG "matter" is just a coincidence, I'm sure.
Note: For a real battle of All-Star moments, stay tuned to the Stew this week, as we debut our 36-memory Battle Royale for the best highlights in All-Star Game history.