It’s Roy Halladay getting the start for the National League tonight in Phoenix for another edition of the midsummer classic. It’s not Roy’s first start in the All-Star Game, he started for the American League back in 2009. He’ll go against Jared Weaver this year who is starting for the All-Star game for the first time.
The press has been writing about all of the new faces we’ll see this year, with a lot of players who were selected either unable to play or chose not to be there. It kind of changes the landscape of being an All-Star, but it is giving a couple guys who probably wouldn’t be there any other way, a chance to compete in the game.
The Phillies aces are there this year, it’s just another moment that the Phillies fans can appreciate this season. Halladay, Hamels, and Lee are all representing the Phillies tonight, and Polanco and Victorino will be there in Phoenix, but not playing. Hamels will not pitch because he pitched on Sunday, which is a rule that no All-Star pitcher can do for the Tuesday night game.
Last year’s All-Star game was won by the National League, it was the first time since 1995 that the NL has won prior to that (There was that infamous tie in 2002 also). Now, the game winner actually means something. The winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage for the World Series.
Here’s when that rule started courtesy of wikipedia:
To provide additional incentive for victory, Major League Baseball reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game, for 2003 to 2004. Since then, the agreement was extended twice, in 2005 and 2006, after which it was made permanent. Previously, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated between the two leagues each year. The American League took advantage of the new rule in each of its first seven years: between 2003 and 2009, the American League won four series and the National League won three. The National League champion benefited from this rule for the first time in 2010.
So the All-Star Game that ended in a tie in 2002, gave birth to the new method of giving either league the home-field advantage to the World Series. That is baseball, nothing is written in stone for too long, and the game changes are beneficial from time to time.
It’s been said that the All-Star Game doesn’t mean much in some articles in the press lately, but I think it does. The game has been taking place since 1933, and it holds a deep tradition and reverence with fans and players alike. The game is on Fox TV at 8 PM ET tonight with the start of the 82nd All-Star game.
Fast home run facts on the All-Star Game:
There has been 175 home runs hit during the All-Star Game
First HR ever hit at AS Game: Babe Ruth 7/6/1933
Most HR at AS Game (career) 6 – Stan Musial
Last HR hit at an All-Star Game: 7-15-2008 by JD Drew
Home Run Derby winner 2011: Robinson Cano, NY Yankees