The AL continued their winning streak in the All-Star game. It now stretches through a full decade! The NL almost took the game in the bottom of the ninth as they battled back from a three-run deficit. decade! The final score was 5- 4 with Bostonâ€™s Josh Beckett getting the win.But the real karmic effect related to three outfieldersâ€”two for the NL and one for the AL. The American League guy was Ichiro. The National Leaguers were Barry Bonds andâ€¦ Willie Mays. Thatâ€™s right.
Willie Mays, that amazing force in the outfield and at bat for the Giants, ended his career with 660 homers, a 302 batting average and 24 All-Star appearances! Mercy! He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, which was his initial year of eligibility. Mays, now 76 years old, was a five-tool player. In 1951, he was the NL Rookie of the Year. He played for 23 years, ending his career with the NY Mets.
In 1970, Sporting News named him Player of the Decade and in 1999 he was ranked second by that same publication when describing the top 100 Greatest Baseball Players. That same year, he was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. What an amazing player!
He was honored today at the All-Star game and it was tough to not see the irony of the â€œSay Hey Kid,â€? who was the cornerstone of the Giants for so long and seen as being such as great guy, was in the same park as Barry Bonds. Bonds who, despite the fact that heâ€™s got great numbers, is not respected. Partly due to the fact that heâ€™s has such a horrible attitude towards the press and public and partly due to the fact that the man has admitted to using steroids (and not knowing that he was doing so).
The real irony was in the game, where MLBâ€™s next home run kingâ€”Barry Bondsâ€”went zero for two. Oh, wow! Hometown player, San Franciscoâ€™s Bonds went 0- 2 and left two on base. Bonds refused to give the hometown crowd a thrill by participating in the homerun derby and then he did nothing in the big game.
So, who was the gameâ€™s MVP? Ichiro. You know, that guy from Japan who seems to do just about everything right, who constantly challenges himself and has excelled without steroids. Yes, that Ichiro. He went 3 for 3, had 2 RBI and scored one run on the All-Star gameâ€™s first ever inside the park home run.
There were a lot of class guys at the All-Star game this year but two, one from the AL and one from the NL, were especially noticeable. They were Ichiro Suzuki and Willie Mays.
Thanks for the great memories guys!