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The Mid-Summer Classic--Experiences and Recollections
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Sun 7/8/07 7:29 am    Post subject: The Mid-Summer Classic--Experiences and Recollections Reply with quote

Thought it would be appropriate for me to share some of my All-Star memories here--that is, of the games I've attended in person.

The first one I ever remember watching was in 1970, from brand new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and I remember the excitement that seemed to surround the game between the best of each league. The NL won, of course--5-4--a standard I would become used to over the better part of the next couple of decades.

But, the first one I saw played live on a field right in front of me was on July 11, 1978, in the former San Diego (now Qualcomm) Stadium. It was San Diego's first ASG--a big deal, as the first major sporting event to be held here. (San Diego hadn't hosted a Super Bowl yet.) I'd been given tickets as a high school graduation gift. While I'd been to World Series games before, I was excited at the prospect of a game like this drawing fans from all over the country.

The National League was on a roll, having won 15 of the previous 16 games. Their team consisted largely of Dodgers and Reds players at key positions, and featured several future HOFers including Johnny Bench, Tom Seaver, Willie Stargell, Rollie Fingers, Joe Morgan and Bruce Sutter, as well as other stars of the '70s such as Dave Concepcion, Davey Lopes, George Foster, Pete Rose, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Rick Monday, Ron Cey, Phil Niekro and Tommy John.

Local boy Bob Boone, representing the Phillies in the NL, got a huge ovation upon his introduction. So did Graig Nettles, representing the Yankees in the AL, another San Diego product. Padres outfielder Dave Winfield was the lone position player representing the Pads.

Future HOFers George Brett, Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson, Eddie Murray, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Palmer were on the other side. So were other big names such as Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Thurman Munson and Ron Guidry.

It was so different to see fans of so many different teams wearing their various colors and jerseys as they converged on Mission Valley.

The National League won, 7-3, and how fitting it was that my favorite player, first baseman Steve Garvey, was named MVP of the game.

Two years later, in 1980, Dodger Stadium hosted her only All-Star Game. I attended it with my boyfriend, who was a huge Mets fan. We had tickets on the reserved level, which was a good thing because it allowed us the opportunity to see what was being unveiled at the ASG as the first-ever "Diamond Vision" board at a North American major sporting event. The concept was so technologically advanced at the time it had to be seen to be believed. You mean the camera could capture people in the stands and beam them, live, for the whole stadium to see? We could see instant replays just as if on TV at home? I went home raving to all my friends about how Dodger Stadium had the only one of its kind, and I'd actually been there in person the first day it was operational. That was the way it stayed for another few years until they were eventually standard fare at ballparks across the country.

But, the game. Many of the same players returned from the 1978 game, with a new addition at shortstop in the American League. That was Detroit's third-year player who was quickly gaining respect around the league. Since as an NL fan I didn't get much of a chance to see AL players, it was an awesome thought to me that only four years ago, I'd been watching Alan star on our high school field. Now here he was not only playing in the majors, but excelling and becoming known and applauded nationally. And it would begin a nice string of All-Star appearances to add to his resume. So that was one AL player I naturally had to root for.

The NL won again, 4-2, with the Reds' Ken Griffey being named MVP. It was their 17th victory over 18 years.

This fact was perhaps filed away or forgotten until my next All-Star Game, 12 years later, held again at what was now known as San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. In that decade-plus in between, I'd attended the "FanFest" when the Big "A" in Anaheim was the site of the ASG in 1989, but not the game itself. FanFest was a newer concept that MLB had added to the festivities which had not previously been offered. To me, it seemed like the best thing this side of Cooperstown...or heaven. All baseball, all through the ages, interactive exhibits, World Series highlights...well, it just doesn't get any better than this, does it? My mouth salivated when I saw the memorabilia collectors with special items on sale in the next hall of the convention center.

So, to 1992. In '92, I was preoccupied with some personal issues going on in my life and wasn't even going to attend the game, but then my mom was given tickets for the outfield bleachers and asked if I wanted to go with her. I didn't hesitate.

For fans of good pitching, this was not a pretty one. The AL won, 13-6, in what was the beginning of a long dominating string of wins by that league. The names were certainly different from the 1980 All-Star Game. A whole new crop of players was on the rise, and the old veterans who'd been multiple All-Stars were on their way out. Even my beloved Steve Garvey had retired a few years earlier.

(Trivia note, the 1992 ASG was the first major league game to feature the "base cam" with an actual camera inside the first base bag.)

Whereas Tony Gwynn wasn't even a rookie the last time I'd been to an All-Star Game, here he was in his 11th season in 1992, starting for the National League on his home field. Other notable established players on the NL squad were Ozzie Smith, Barry Bonds, Fred McGriff, Terry Pendleton, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Larry Walker, Greg Maddux, Gary Sheffield, Ryne Sandberg, Will Clark and Tom Glavine. The American League team featured Roberto Alomar, Wade Boggs, Kirby Puckett, Roger Clemens, Ivan Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr., Mark McGwire, Brady Anderson, Edgar Martinez and Joe Carter.

But the Most Valuable Player was the young rising superstar Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners. How interesting that over a period of a dozen years, I'd seen both Jr. and Sr. named MVP of ASGs I'd attended.

It was also interesting to note that the tide had begun to turn with the AL now putting together a string of domination. This was the NL's fifth consecutive setback.

So, here we are 15 years later. The City by the Bay--San Francisco, California--will host its third ASG, its first since the 1984 game in Candlestick Park, and the first-ever in beautiful AT&T Park. Unlike the era when I was coming of age in baseball, the National League has failed in its attempt to win the last nine games (not counting the tie result in 2002). Will this be the year it all turns? Over the years, the All-Star Game has lost a bit of its lustre, with many fans losing interest largely because of interleague play which began a decade ago. Before 1997, this one game in July was the only interleague game until October.

For one last trivia item, who is the only player to make it into an All-Star game by write-in ballot, only to later become MVP of that game? Hint: This player is a multiple All-Star who played exceptionally well in those exhibition games over the course of his 17-year career.

Yes, it's Steve Garvey Smile who was written in for the 1974 contest.

Anyone else been to any ASGs? Have memories to share about your experiences?
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Last edited by dodgerblue6 on Wed 7/13/11 8:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Sun 7/8/07 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great recap, Linda. I had no idea you'd been to so many different All-Star Games. I can't wait to attend all the ASG festivities in 2009! My season tickets are NOT leaving my possession until after that, for certain. That will be the icing on the cake for all the baseball experiences on my to-do list. (Except for that elusive no-hitter... I've come pretty darn close on a couple different occasions. Maybe sometime between now and then it will happen for me.)

Looking forward to yours and Crz's and Bellsnow's reports at the end of the week.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 7/12/07 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That will be the icing on the cake for all the baseball experiences on my to-do list. (


You've got quite a list, for sure. But I would still say you're short of going to the most historic spring training site in major league baseball. Smile

So I know at least one other person here has been to an ASG, but am I to assume all the rest of the regulars haven't? (I guess not?)

All I can say is that, just like World Series games, tickets to these events didn't used to require such a big chunk of your wallet back in the day, as they do now.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Sat 7/14/07 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are so spoiled Linda. I hope I can see a ASG when it is in STL
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bellsnowfan
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PostPosted: Mon 7/16/07 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the all star game was great!

i'm seriously thinking about going next year at yankee stadium!
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crzblue



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PostPosted: Tue 7/17/07 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BSF,
Did you go to the FanFest? Linda, Rob (Giant fan) and I had a great time there. That was a first for me going to FanFest. did not know what to expect and now wish that Linda and would have gotten there earlier as we did not get to see everything there. They had to kick us out but that is not a first for us. they had to do the same for an event at Dodger Stadium. My only time going to an All-Star game was in 1980 when it was hosted at Dodger Stadium and they did not have Fanfest back then.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 7/15/08 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I would give this one a bump since we have new posters who've come on board since last year.

Anyone else have memories of past ASGs to share with us?

Just reading my original post in this thread, which I wrote at this time last year, was pretty nostalgic for me. Smile I'm blessed to say I've seen a lot of baseball over the years, and to have been in attendance at these events was certainly something very, very special.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Wed 7/15/09 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sending me the link to this thread DB. I would never have found it.

Loved reading about the All Star memories. My most memorable moment was getting Fred Lynn's autograph when I was a teenager and the game was held in Anaheim. I bet that was exciting for you the first time you saw Trammell playing in one.

I can't think of much else to add except to say the Fan Fest is always so fun. Seems like most people here have been to it. And like I said in the other thread I can't wait for it to come back to Dodger Stadium. With it having had so many classic moments and such a diverse city it seems like the perfect place for it.
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Frodio
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PostPosted: Thu 7/16/09 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God I wish I can have half of the Baseball memories you have Dodgerblue before I die !!!!

So many precious moments !!!! Wow !!!!!

Marlins requested the WBC Classic to be hosted at the New Marlins Stadium in 2013 and I been told that it was granted by MLB. They also asked for ASG but don't know if 2013 or another year.
Let's hope so !!!!
Next year will be my 2nd Super Bowl and 1st Pro-Ball and I'm not that much into Football.
I already have 2 WS. So I can only hope that I get to attend an ASG too !!!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 7/13/11 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I would give this one from a previous year another bump!

Cathy and Lu, neither of you were here the last time I posted in it.

But Cathy, Sunnyblue and I all have great memories of last July in Anaheim, so I'd have to add that experience to the others I wrote about in the first post in this thread.

Reading back on it, I had many warm memories. Although I have watched many All Star Games on TV with my dad, I wish I had actually attended an ASG with him. Instead, I went to one game with my mom, and others over the years with friends and boyfriends.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Thu 7/14/11 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great report! I was at 2 of the games you mentioned. Thank you for the memories. Seeing Tony Gwynn play in one was a thrill for me.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Thu 7/14/11 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved hearing about the ASG you attended and to hear about all the Major League stars you saw play. Your report reminded me of one of the segments about the ASG on the golden age of baseball DVD set I recently purchased. Fans of either league had the opportunity to see players they might never have seen during the regular season.

When we were cleaning out mom's basement I found some baseball programs from some Cubs games back in the early 1970's my brothers had gone to. Seeing the names all these years later and how many players of the opposing teams are now in the HOF was interesting.

You and Forloveofthegame are so lucky to have been able to go to some ASG:) I always enjoy hearing about everyones baseball experiences Smile

Thanks for sharing this with us (again) Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 7/10/12 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this up for another year. Perhaps jpochard has been to an All-Star Game over the years and if so, can share her experiences?

I had started this thread in 2007 and since then, I have been to two more All Star Fanfests and an All-Star Game, to add to my "collection" of experiences (and which are shared in other threads on this board).

When I look back on it, I feel really blessed and fortunate to have been able to enjoy so many of them. It really brought back some warm memories for me, just re-reading this now.

In particular the one that stands out was the 1980 ASG not only because of the game itself, but because of the technological advancements. To think that every stadium now has something like DiamondVision/DodgerVision, and once again, our Dodgers were the pioneers, in yet another field.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Tue 7/10/12 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would make a great baseball goal. I would like to attend an ASG if one comes close again. If it hadn't been for the vacation coming up we would have tried to make it to Kansas City. My brother has been to games there because his wife has family there and he says Kauffman Stadium is a very nice ballpark.

I will take my visit to the West Coast this summer over the ASG because it is about time I see Dodger Stadium Very Happy Not to mention I'll get to see two other stadiums as well Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 7/10/12 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kauffman is pretty nice...I know it gets a lot of attention for the fountains, but for someone as spoiled as I am having been to three of the prettiest ballparks in Major League Baseball all close by, I wouldn't rate it that high. For the record, I've never attended a game there, but have been inside it (on an off-day for the Royals).

Hopefully we can hear more about past ASGs in this thread, if there is any more input.
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"The Dodgers have always occupied an enormous place in the history of the game. If the Yankees are the most successful team in baseball history, the Dodgers are the most essential. Their legacy is unique."

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Last edited by dodgerblue6 on Mon 7/14/14 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 7/11/12 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is true - I would love to hear about Jpochard's experiences since she is new to the board.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 7/12/12 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, let's give this another bump for her, then, so it doesn't get buried.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Sat 7/14/12 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's try one more time and see what she will say.
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jpochard



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PostPosted: Sun 7/15/12 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ladies,

I've never been to an ASG. I'm hoping that we are seriously in the running for 2015, and it sounds like we might be.

I don't have a whole lot of interest in the game, actually - and only watch maybe 70% of them. I've started paying a bit more attention over the last 3 or 4 years.

Still, it would be exciting to have it here and I would certainly make the attempt to attend.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 7/14/14 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cathy, I was just reading back on this one from a few years ago. This sure brought back some great memories for me. Now, in light of Tony Gwynn's passing, I'm sure it will be quite bittersweet for you. Crying or Very sad
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 7/15/14 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sure did bring back some memories! You are right, it is sad to see all those photos of past All star game memories and think he is no longer with us. Crying or Very sad I re-read the stories that you posted awhile back. They remind me of a lot of good times at this really special event.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 7/14/15 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just giving this one a "bump" for All-Star Game day. Now, the third ASG in San Diego is only a year away. Imagine what we'll be posting at this time in 2016!
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 7/14/15 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot wait - after tonight the countdown will be on! Very Happy
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 7/10/17 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading back over this thread, it brought back warm memories of All Star Games past.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 7/11/17 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just think, we can now add last year's memories to this thread!

The All Star Game these days is about so much more than the game. In a way that's good because it brings more interest to all the events. I know we all love Fan Fest, but sometimes I wish they didn't have all the other stuff involved. It's almost like it has to be like the Super Bowl with something going on every hour the few days before it.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 7/12/17 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good idea, Sunnyblue. Reading back on these brought me many memories, too. The 2016 All Star game stands out with me for it being the first one ever played at Petco Park.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 7/11/18 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda, I thought I would "bump" this thread for you since I knew you would be doing it next week anyway!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 7/12/18 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! And in the Union-Tribune's "On This Day" recap, we remember 40 years ago today when San Diego hosted its very first All-Star Game.

Funny because it's referenced that S.D. probably would have to wait 25 years to host another, but that happened only 14 years later. Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 7/8/19 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed reading over this thread of past ASGs and memories as I usually do every All-Star break.

I can't believe it but we're only a year away from the Mid-Summer Classic being played at Dodger Stadium again--for only the second time ever!

I feel certain that attending it at age 60 will definitely be as fun as attending it at age 20.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 7/8/19 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, Linda. That means you will have "tripled" - your age that is - in the All Star Game. Laughing

Right now I am thinking back on that All Star Game in 2010 in Anaheim. It was such a wonderful game with the NL winning to end their long curse. Hanging out with you and Sunnyblue was fantastic that week.
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