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The Most Disappointing MLB All-Star Game In History Happened 20 Years Ago
Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The Most Disappointing MLB All-Star Game In History Happened 20 Years Ago

Fans were left booing at the result of the All-Star game in Milwaukee

Twenty years ago, Major League Baseball fans were gearing up for that year's All-Star game in Wisconsin with no idea it would turn out to be not just anti-climactic, but 'profoundly' disappointing.

The July 2002 game marked the 73rd annual All-Star game featuring players from the American League and National League, the two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB).

Thousands of fans - 41,871, to be precise - flooded to Miller Park in Milwaukee, ready to watch the highly-anticipated game unfold with players such as Johnny Damon, Jim Thome, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Brian Giles and Larry Walker.

Things started out relatively well, with the game showing off good pitching and impressive defense as well as a catch which went down in history, when centre fielder Torii Hunter managed to secure the ball after Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants took to the home plate.

Unfortunately the tension of the game wasn't built to last, mainly thanks to managers Joe Torre of the American League and Bob Brenly of the National League. The pair had decided to give all of their players a chance on the field, but as a result ended up using all their pitchers after 11 innings.

With no one left to go to the mound, Commissioner Bud Selig was left with no choice than to declare the game a 7-7 tie. Unsurprisingly, the crowd was not impressed with the events that led to what was only the second tie in the history of the series, a feeling made clear as their boos rang out across the stadium. The first time a tie took place was in 1961, when the game was stopped by rain.

The result meant there was no Most Valuable Player declared for the event, and prompted the game to become one of the most disappointing in history.

In the 2016 book The Games That Changed Baseball: Milestones in Major League History, authors Andy Saunders and John G. Robertson explain: "Instead of a fitting climax... baseball fans around the world saw a strange, inconclusive, unsatisfactory and tepid conclusion.

"The disappointment of fans and sponsors was so profound that MLB strongly reacted - some would say overreacted - and decided to up the ante and give the annual exhibition game considerably higher stakes in 2003."

Following the disastrous ending to the game, Selig declared that whichever league won the All-Star Game would get the home-field advantage in future World Series.

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Topics: Sport, US News, Baseball