Something – ahem – makes me feel like writing about a hometown hero who stuck with the same team throughout his entire career. So today’s Flashback Friday looks at the 1991 All Star Game, played 19 years ago on the date of this post, July 9.
All-Star MVP Cal Ripken – who came into the break with a .348 average and 111 hits, both league highs – stroked a three-run homer off former teammate Dennis Martinez in the third inning to lead the American League to a 4-2 victory. Ripken finished 2-for-3 before being replaced in the bottom of the seventh inning by current White Sox manager and (former?) Twitter phenom Ozzie Guillen.
Overall, the 1991 All-Star Game featured 15 current, former, or future Orioles and one future interim manager: Will Clark, Bobby Bonilla, Chris Sabo, Ripken, Roberto Alomar, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Joe Carter, Harold Baines, Pete Harnisch, Martinez, Scott Erickson, Lee Smith, Mike Morgan, Jimmy Key, and of course Juan Samuel.
Ripken became the first player to win both the All-Star Game MVP and the Home Run Derby (Garret Anderson replicated the effort in 2003). His 12 home runs in 22 swings also set a record at the time. The first seven home runs came consecutively at the start of the contest.
Ripken went on to win the 1991 American League MVP after posting a .323 average with 34 homers and a career-high 114 RBI. He was the league’s first player to win the award while playing for a losing team.