Baseball Stars Shine Brightest

The NFL Pro Bowl is an afterthought, the NHL All-Star Game a scoring orgy (is scorgy a word?), the NBA All-Star Game an in-your-face slamfest.

This year’s All-Star game proved once again — with authority — that baseball is still America’s pastime. There’s something about the good pitching vs. good hitting confrontation that works in the all-star format

It’s supposed to be an exhibition game. But try telling that to the players who battled through 15 innings and nearly five hours of dramatic baseball at Yankee Stadium. The American League finally prevailed, 4-3, ensuring yet another year of home field advantage in the World Series.

“It was a great day,” said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, “besides the fact that the game took forever. But it was fun.”

“I just know I looked up and it said 1:40 in the morning, and it was the 15th inning,” said Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who scored the winning run — just barely. “I never ever expected to come here and experience that.”

Consider the baseball ties that bind generations. The game was played in “The House That Ruth Built.” In 1933, Babe Ruth hit the first home run in an All-Star game during the inaugural mid-summer classic.. Like the Babe, Mickey Mantle hit some of the longest home runs ever in Yankee Stadium. And Josh Hamilton wowed fans in the Home Run Derby, reaching places in the venerable old stadium where only Ruth and Mantle dared go before.

And so it goes….

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