The Stars Are Out
Free to interpret…
· Ryan Zimmerman will make his first appearance in a Midsummer Classic and will represent Washington in the 80th MLB All-Star Game today at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He was voted into the game by his fellow players. Cristian Guzman was among the five candidates eligible for the final roster spot via the Sprint Final Vote, but was edged out by the Phillies Shane Victorino.
· A look back at the past Nats’ All-Stars
Year Player At the plate or on the mound:
2005 Livan Hernandez 1 IP, 2 ER on 2 hits
Chad Cordero 0.1 IP, 1 strikeout
2006 Alfonso Soriano 1-for-2 and got the start in left field
2007 Dmitri Young 1-for-1 with a run, 2007 Comeback Player of the Year
2008 Cristian Guzman 0-for-3, ended the season fourth in the NL in batting
SS Danny Espinosa went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts playing for the U.S. in the XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Busch Stadium. The World beat the U.S. 7-5. He is batting .259 (76-for-294) with nine home runs and 41 RBIs in 81 games for the Single-A Potomac Nationals. He is second in the Carolina League with 53 runs scored.
· The AL is 11-0-1 vs. the NL since 1997. The last time the NL won was in 1996 at the old Veterans Stadium 6-0. Mike Pizza went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI to earn MVP honors.
The last time the All-Star Game was in St. Louis was 1966, the original year Busch Stadium opened. A lot has changed since then… in 1966 Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson led their respective leagues in home runs and RBI, a gallon of gas was $.32, the median cost of a house was $23,000, a dozen eggs were $.60, a postage stamp was $.05 and Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax were the highest paid players making $125,000. They made $677,714 adjusted for inflation … just a little less than the $28 million A-Rod brings in this year.
· President Barack Obama, an unabashed Chicago White Sox fan, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight. He is the fourth sitting U.S. President to throw out the first pitch at the Midsummer Classic joining John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. President Obama is the seventh U.S. President to attend the All-Star Game. The first U.S. President to attend an All-Star Game was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.
The Midsummer Classic on July 12, 1966 started at 1 p.m. and the temp soared to 105 degrees for the start of the game. You can count on former St. Louis Cardinals catcher and 1966 NL All-Star Tim McCarver, calling his record-extending 18th All-Star Game, to make more than one reference to the ’66 game tonight.
“I remember guys stepping into ice buckets with their cleats on,” McCarver said. “When I relieved Joe Torre of his catching duties in the 8th inning, I said, ‘You holding up alright, Joe?’ and Joe replied, ‘Yep, only had to take 12 salt tablets today.'”
· The MLB All-Star Game is the highest-rated All-Star event among major sports for those keeping track:
Program Network Rating
2008 MLB All-Star Game FOX 9.3
2009 NFL Pro Bowl NBC 5.4
2009 NBA All-Star Game TNT 4.5
2009 NASCAR All-Star Challenge SPEED 2.4
2009 NHL All-Star Game Versus 0.6