4 Fun Facts About the All Star Games You Probably Dont Know

Share these facts with friends and you’ll look like a genius!

On July 11, the American and National Leagues will get together again to play the annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the 87th time. The MLB teams play their All-Star game to win.

Yes, it’s a showcase for the fans, but the two Leagues absolutely take pride in knocking each other off. Year to year, the lineups change, the stadium changes, and yet the All-Star Game itself has a familiar, traditional and reassuring feel to it. True fans love to root for team’s players, root for “their” league, and get to see the a few dozen best young and veteran players, even if for a few innings.

Here are some obscure facts about the All-Star game even the avid fan doesn’t have at his fingertips. But now you do.

ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY

Say: “Do you know the first All-Star Game was in 1933? It was in Chicago.”

Background for you. Baseball has been around since before 1900, but it wasn’t until 1933 that the two leagues deliberately met in the middle of the season to play each other. What was the reason? There was a World’s Fair in Chicago in ’33. A sports editor came up with the notion to have a game between the best players from each league. The game was held in Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox.

Here’s more related trivia to share:

  • The American League won the first All-Star game 4-2. It was so popular Major League Baseball decided to have an All-Star game the following year.
  • To date, the National League has won 43 games; the American League has won 42.
  • The All-Star Game is the unofficial halfway point of the season, which is why it’s also known as the “Midsummer Classic.”

STRANGE ENDINGS

Say: “Remember when they ran out of players and the game ended in a tie?”

Background for you. In 2002 in Milwaukee, the All-Star Game went into extra innings. At the end of the 11th inning both teams had used all their players and no fresh pitchers were available. The commissioner at the time, Bud Selig, who was attending the game, called it a tie at 7-7.

No one was happy.

Here’s more related trivia to share:

  • Trying to patch up the 2002 fiasco, Bud Selig announced that starting in 2003, the league that won the All-Star Game would get home-field advantage in the World Series. However, starting with this year’s All-Star Game, that’s no longer the case.
  • There was another tie in 1961 when the game was called due to rain with the score tied 1-1 after nine innings.
  • From 1959 to 1962 MLB played two All-Star games, back to back, giving top players of the day four more games to add to their All-Star statistics.

STREAKS AND NUMBERS:

Say: “Did you know the National League has won only three times the past 20 seasons?”

Background for you. The American League (the younger league) is sometimes referred to as the “Junior” League. Hmmm. Maybe not so much the past two decades. Over that time the NL has one only three times and those were in succession (2010-2012). National League fans are NOT too happy with that fact, because it DOES matter to them if their league comes out on top.

Here’s more related trivia to share:

  • Hank Aaron of the Braves played in more All-Star Games, 25, than any other player. Willie Mays and Stan Musial played in 24 All-Star Games each.
  • The active players with the most All-Star Game appearances are Miguel Cabrera (11), Albert Pujols (10) and Ichiro Suzuki (10).
  • From 1959 to 1962, there were two All-Star Games each season. So, Aaron, Mays Musial each have four “extra” games to their credit. For example, Musial played 20 seasons yet appeared in 24 All-Star Games.

HOME RUN WIZARDRY

Say: “Guess how many grand slams have been hit in All-Star Games.”

Background for you. There has been only one grand slam in all 86 All-Star Games. It was hit by Fred Lynn of the California Angels in the 3rd inning of the 1983 game. With all the power hitters that have played in All-Star Games, you would think that there would have been several grand slams in All-Star Games. But remember, there are nothing but aces on the mound.

Here’s more related trivia to share:

  • It took 50 years for a player to hit the first grand slam in an All-Star Game. It’s been 33 years since Lynn hit it.
  • Stan Musial hit six home runs in All-Star Games, the most by any player.
  • The Home Run Derby, the home run hitting contest played the day before the All-Star Game, was started in 1985.
  • Dave Winfield won the first contest, which was held in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins won the 2016 Home Run Derby.

Photocredit: media.nbcmiami.com