The big bash
Day at a Glance: Fenway prepares for an All-Star exit
Posted: Tuesday July 13, 1999 03:54 PM
The Red Sox faithful will go ballistic when Pedro Martinez takes the mound for the AL. Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport
By Bryan Boyle
BOSTON -- "The big bash" reads the page one headline of The Boston
Globe. "Play ball!" cries the Boston Herald. All-Star Game Day
has arrived, and everybody who's anybody is here to enjoy it.
Except Mother Nature.
There's only one cloud, but it blankets the sky on a dreary morning. The
last All-Star Game here, in 1961, ended in also the last All-Star tie, 1-1
due to rain. But history doesn't seem doomed to repeat itself. The fans
won't allow their spirits to be dampened. Those fans carrying tickets, that
Good box seats were commanding four figures Monday outside Fenway Park.
Even parking spaces were scalped for as much as $100. But money is not the
object this day. Showcasing the game's finest talent within the confines of
the game's oldest and most intimate ballpark is.
It's the last hurrah for Fenway Park, which will almost certainly
surrender to Red Sox CEO John Harrington's ambitious plans for a new, $545
million Fenway across the street in 2003. What is certain is that the fans
in Fenway know how to take care of their own.
The most bombastic applause by far Monday night was for hometown hero Nomar Garciaparra. When
the Red Sox shortstop was introduced by Michael Buffer, who rolled his r's
twice, the capacity crowd burst to its feet for an ovation unlike few
25-year-olds have ever enjoyed.
"It was unbelievable. It really is, going up there," said Garciaparra. "I
was nervous, without a doubt. But it's also kind of a nice, warm feeling
when you just hear the crowd behind you like that. And I'm sure you saw my
face with a smile from ear to ear, and it still hasn't left me. It was just
An encore can be expected Tuesday night, when Boston's other diamond
darling is introduced as the American League's starting pitcher.
entered the All-Star break with 15 wins, tying former darling Roger Clemens' Red Sox
record while becoming the first pitcher to record 15 before the break since
Greg Maddux 11 years
Since coming over from Montreal for Carl Pavano and the son
of a former Red Sox center fielder, Tony Armas Jr. -- who pitched a
scoreless inning in Sunday's Futures Game -- Martinez has been
And he'll hear about it Tuesday night. As will Red Sox legend Ted
Williams, scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
"I don't know what to expect," said Garciaparra when asked Monday night
about applause yet to come. "I kind of go out there and just take it all in
as it comes.
"But I tell you what. Me smiling? It will still be there tomorrow."
Soon, the sun, or what there is of it, will set on most likely the final
All-Star Game at Fenway Park as we know it.
But what a graceful exit.
The big bash. Play ball!
| Power vs. power |
Starting for each league are two of baseball's most accomplished strikeout
artists. The NL's Curt
Schilling and the AL's Pedro Martinez have combined for 317 strikeouts
already this year, and a measly .223 batting-average against. But with
sluggers Ken Griffey
Sosa and Jeff
Bagwell to face, Schilling and Martinez, in addition to the NL's Randy Johnson, make
each pitch a can't-miss event.
| Hometown heroes |
Nomar Garciaparra was
showered with ear-splitting applause during the Home Run Derby. Luis Tiant
had a taste when he spun to throw out the first pitch of the Futures Game.
Carlton Fisk sampled as he watched yet another rerun of his '75 World
Series home run from his perch as honorary Home Run Derby captain. Even the
contribution of Bernie Carbo, who homered just prior to Fisk's masterpiece
in '75, was acknowledged by Bostonians when he received the ceremonial
first pitch at the Derby. All-Star organizers have gone to great lengths to
celebrate Red Sox history, and the best of past and present take center
stage Tuesday night. Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez start, and Teddy
Ballgame throws out the first pitch.
| Fenway Fact |
When the ballpark opened in 1912, then Red Sox owner John I. Taylor chose a
name. "It's in the Fenway section of Boston, isn't it? Then call it Fenway
for All |
Hundreds of fans poured into the roadway on the far
side of the Green Monster during the Home Run Derby on Monday night. When a
ball was hit, the crowd burst into a cheer, then readied to spot it
coasting over the net.
Fenway Flavor |
Legal Sea Foods runs a counter at
Fenway Park. For $4.50 -- $4.29 plus 21 cents tax -- you can get yourself a
piping hot cup of some of New England's finest clam chowder.
| Quote |
pretty much knew I was going to lose. I mean, he got down to one or two
outs to stay in the [first] round and then hit a bunch. You're talking
about the guy that can do it at will. And when he had to, he did it. And he
does that quite often."
HR Derby finalist Jeromy Burnitz, on HR
Derby champ Ken Griffey Jr.
Mark McGwire's 13 first-round homers in
Monday's Home Run Derby totaled 5,692 feet. Sammy Sosa's sole first-round
homer totaled 371 feet.
| Interscope recording artists Smash
Mouth performed two ditties in the right-field bullpen between the national
anthem and the start of the Home Run Derby. MLB certainly wouldn't want to
alienate the younger fans. Nor would the Glance. || |
| "Voice of Champions" Michael Buffer
introduced the Home Run Derby lineup. Buffer. At Fenway? Let's get ready to
upchuck. || |
Something was missing at batting practice Monday: Alex Rodriguez. Despite
missing action from April 7 to May 13 with an injured knee, the Mariners
shortstop entered the All-Star break with a .316 batting average with 18
HRs and 55 RBIs -- and no invitation to the Midsummer Classic. Wait 'til
next year, A-Rod. || |
Hank Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Home Run Derby.
Receiving the pitch was Red Sox legend Bernie Carbo, whose homer in Game 6
of the 1975 World Series set the stage for Carlton Fisk's unforgettable,
ball-coaxing heroics to force a Game 7. || |
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