Boston Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez asserts dominance in the 1999 MLB All-Star game at Fenway Park, striking out the first five men he faced.
As the 88th midsummer classic showdown approaches in Miami, it’s a good time to reflect back on some of the most memorable All-Star game performances. One All-Star game in particular stands out for Boston Red Sox fans.
On July 13th, 1999 the Red Sox hosted the 70th All-Star game at Fenway park, which was also home to the introduction of the 1999 All-Century team. Several MLB greats poured out onto the field giving thanks and waving to the very cheerful crowd in Boston. Members of that all Century team included ex-Red Sox such as Cy Young, Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley Joe Cronin, Carl “Yaz” Yastremski, Carlton “Pudge” Fisk, Jimmie Foxx and none other than the Splendid Splinter, Mr. Ted Williams.
With failing health at the age of 80, Williams glorified the ballpark with his presence on a golf cart, slowly waving to the crowd. The entire ballpark stood as one giving him a big standing ovation. Listening to Public Address announcer Ed Brickley call on Ted Williams’ name brought chills down everyone’s spine. Tears were bursting out of older men and women’s eyes as they witnessed one of the greatest baseball players to ever live take the field one last time for the ceremonial first pitch to former Red Sox catcher, Carlton Fisk.
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Both the American League and National league team came together at the center of the mound surrounding Mr. Williams. These professional athletes were able to feel like kids again with the biggest smiles on their faces. But that was just the beginning for what turned out to be a very memorable night for one Red Sox All-Star.
Pedro Martinez was selected to his third All-Star game appearance and was given the nod by AL manager Joe Torre to start. His future Red Sox teammate, Curt Schilling was the National League starter for this All-Star game representing the Philadelphia Philles. What are the odds?
Pedro was accompanied by two of his teammates in the All-Star game. Nomar Garciaparra and Jose Offerman posted stellar first half numbers to earn the right to play along side Pedro. But Pedro’s first half numbers proved to be the starter for his home crowd. According to Baseball almanac, Martinez entered the All-Star break with 182 K’s, and he was far from done. It wasn’t going to be a picnic, but Pedro was up for the challenge.
With 34,187 fans in attendance at Fenway, they were about to witness something no pitcher has ever done in an All-Star game. The NL had Cincinnati Reds infielder and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin lead off. See you later. Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker was next to bat and Pedro put his bat to bed. Then, Chicago Cubs slugger, Sammy Sosa, good-bye. Martinez just struck out the first three men he faced in an All-Star game appearance, an accomplishment never before seen.
Pedro finished his night with two innings of work, striking out five while allowing no hits and no walks. The American League took the win and Pedro had the honor of being the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player.
This All-Star game will certainly go down in the history books as one of the most memorable games ever played. What are some of your memorable All-Star game moments?