Decade of dominance
American League now has NL's All-Star number
Posted: Wednesday July 14, 1999 02:26 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
There's nothing junior about the Junior Circuit anymore.
For the first time since the 1940s, the American League can call itself the league of the decade.
The AL won seven of the 10 All-Star Games in the 90s, capped by Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the National League in Boston. The Americans now have won three straight Midsummer Classics.
In fact, it's only the fifth three-game winning streak for the AL since the game started in 1933.
Even with the recent stretch of dominance, the AL still is looking up at the Nationals as the century comes to a conclusion. The NL still leads the all-time series 40-29-1.
The AL went 12-4 in the first 16 All-Star Games, but went only 7-30-1 from 1950-82. Since then, the AL has won 10 of the last 16.
And the American League has done it by scoring runs.
Even with its four-run showing Tuesday, the AL averaged 5.7 runs a game in the '90s.
That is the second-best scoring mark by one team in one decade. The National League averaged 6.1 runs a game in the 1970s.
Combined, however, the '90s fell only two runs shy of the highest-scoring decade in the game's history.
And if it wasn't for unhittable AL pitching, that mark likely would have fallen as well.
The National League was held to fewer than two runs for the third time in the '90s. In the 60 prior All-Star Games, it only happened seven times to the Senior Circuit.
This note of caution for the AL, however.
In the last 35 All-Star Games, the league that won went on to have its representative win the World Series only 17 times.
But the AL does hold a 5-3 lead in the World Series this decade, as well. And those are the ultimate bragging rights.