All-Star Tuesday at Yankee Stadium
What can I say? I am extremely fortunate to be here. This is history
tonight. I remember what it was like in 1999 at Fenway, and this is
every bit as special.
The introductions are taking place as we speak and you can feel the
anticipation. Actually, you can hear the boos. Each time a Red Sox
player is announced. And they are very loud. I guess the Yankees fans
have no aspirations of getting to the World Series because if they did,
they’d be hoping the Red Sox players would help them get home-field by
winning this game tonight.
Terry Francona’s best experience of the day?
“I’ll tell you the other thing that was cool, and it
actually almost overwhelmed me and was great. When we went to go to the parade.
There was a staging area and you get on the bus to go to the stadium and you
walk off the bus and you run into Harmon Kilebrew, Tony Perez, Brooks Robinson,
who was my dad’s first roommate, Ryne Sandberg, who I hung around with. There was
about three other guys. Rod Carew, Steve Carlton.
It was like boom, boom, boom. It was really neat. Oh, also, Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson.”
And now, they are having this overpowering celebration on the field
just moments before game-time with Hall ofFfamers standing at their
respective positions and the American League and National League
reserve squads lined up on the grass just taking it all in. This is
The starters are now taking their positions, about to be joined by Hall of Famers at their positions. Great idea, i must say.
The pitchers on hand who are standing on the
Yankee Stadium mound: Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Feller,
Rollie Fingers, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro,
Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton,
Goose Gossage (huge ovation) and Whitey Ford (another huge ovation).
Ben Sheets just ran out to the mound to meet those giants of the game.
And here comes Cliff Lee from The Indians, who will start for the AL.
Now, on to first base: Orlando Cepeda,Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Murray,
Tony Perez and Willie McCovey. Lance Berkman (the NL first baseman)
and Kevin Youkilis — from you know who — just ran out to stand next
On to second base: Rod Carew, the hitting machine. Bill Mazeroski (you
might remember a walkoff home run he hit). And Ryne Sandberg. Chase
Utley, the next great second baseman, and Dustin Pedroia got to stand
with their second base predecessors.
The hot corner: Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, George Brett (my
favorite player when I was a kid) and Wade Boggs. Here come NL third
baseman Chipper Jones and A-Rod to stand with them. Yes, A-Rod got a
Now, Joe Buck is announcing the shortstops and mentioned the late,
Great Phil Rizzuto in tribute. Those actually here are Luis Aparicio, Ozzie Smith,
Robin Yount and Ernie Banks. Oh, and Cal Ripken who just got the
loudest non-Yankee hand of the night. Hanley Ramirez and a guy named
Derek Jeter (biggest hand of the night so far) have come out to stand
with the former great shortstop. Cheers of “Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter,
Derek Jeter” are absolutely thundering out of this place.
Paul Molitor is representing the DH’s. Here comes Albert Pujols. And
MIlton Bradley. Big Papi would have been there to get more boos if he
was playing but instead he will stay in the dugout.
On to the outfield: Lou Brock, Billy Williams, Ralph Kiner in left;
Starting left fielders, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Manny being Manny
Ramirez. Let’s move it over to center field: One of the true giants of
baseball, says Joe Buck. He must be talking about Willie Mays. It’s
been a while since Willie stood out there. And this year’s starting
center fielders: Fukodome from the Cubs and the story of the season —
Right field: Tony Gwynn, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, Dave Winfield and
Hank Aaron. Of course they save Yankee Stadium favorite Reggie Jackson
for last. Here come the current right fielders. Matt Holliday from the
Rockies and Ichiro from the Mariners.
How about managers? Earl Weaver, Tommy Lasorda and Dick Williams, Hall of Famers all of them. And
here come Tito and Clint Hurdle to meet the great managers. In a
shocker, Tito got booed.
Now, the catchers: Geovani Soto and Joe Mauer are the starters in this
years’ game. They are joined by a couple of Hall of Famers, including
the Kid, Gary Carter, and Yogi Berra. He played for the Yankees in case
you didn’t know. It ain’t over until it’s over.
I must say, that whole thing was pretty awesome and well orchestrated.
Can the game live up to this?
George Brett spoke to the American League squad before the game and as
part of his message, said: “Don’t try to be a hero. Try to be a winner.” Willie Mays challenged the NL to regain their swagger.
By the way, Sheryl Crow’s anthem was nothing special. Can’t win em all, I guess.