The MLB All-Star ballots are live! This seems later than normal, but I think that is better as the players have had time to settle into their routines and fans can make informed decisions.
Unless, like me, you vote a straight-team ballot. That’s right, I voted all Reds in the National League, even though only one (Scooter Gennett) should be a starter, and maybe one or two (Eugenio Suarez and maybe Joey Votto) should be reserves. But I’m a Reds fan through-and-through, and they all get my support at All-Star time.
In the American League, however, I took a closer look at the stats. Here’s how my starting lineup looks in the AL:
Sure, Zack Cozart is a homer pick. I want him to get another donkey. And I avoided Yankees because they’re Yankees. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty solid lineup. Shoehei Ohtani needs to be used as both a DH and a pitcher somehow.
What do your ballots look like?
Todd Frazier put on a show at the Home Run Derby a couple of weeks ago, but there was a guy in the stands that stole a little bit of the spotlight for about ten seconds. Reds Hall of Famer Sean Casey was hanging out with the fans and snagged one of the home runs that flew his way, and TWJ contributor Patrick immortalized the moment on virtual cardboard for all of us to enjoy.
Casey, also known as “The Mayor”, hit 130 home runs during his own big league career, and appeared in three All-Star Games representing the Reds. Three times he hit 20 or more home runs, and twice he reached 99 RBI, but was never able to get to the century mark.
Patrick sent this card over shortly after the event, but I failed to post it right away because of other obligations. My schedule is settling down now a little bit, and I should be able to take better care of the site. I apologize to Patrick for the delay, and to the readers for the infrequency of posts recently. Hopefully things are back on track and you will see something happening here more than once a week.
Todd Frazier got the start at third base for the National League squad in the 2015 All-Star Game. He was 0-for-3 at the plate, grounding out to third base each time he came to the plate. The Cincinnati crowd cheered him on though, and he made us proud by hustling each time he came to the plate. This was Frazier’s second All-Star Game.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth inning for the National Leaguers, striking out the side. Twelve of his fourteen pitches were 100 mph or faster. Chapman has been selected to four consecutive All-Star Games.
Who’s on your All-Star team this year? The 2015 TWJ All-Star Game cards debut today at TWJ cards on tumblr. Many of the starters from last night’s game will be featured, but I have made a few substitutions in my lineup. A new card will be revealed each half hour, alternating between the American League and National League. Every card features a photo from Tuesday’s festivities (but none in those silly AL or NL jerseys). Be sure to check them all out—starting with Dallas Keuchel, which just went live moments ago—at TWJ cards on tumblr!
For the first time since 1990, the host of the Home Run Derby is the champion. Ryne Sandberg won the competition at Wrigley Field in 1990; Todd Frazier took the title last night. Congratulations to the Toddfather, who has secured his place as my favorite Reds player this year.
I also created a special card for the TWJ set to commemorate last night’s victory, and to preview the All-Star design that should maybe possibly debut tomorrow. The regular set should resume on Thursday.
Have fun watching the game tonight; I know I will!
The All-Star Game Fanfest has come to Cincinnati! My youngest son and I took a trip down the Duke Energy Convention Center for a couple of hours this morning to check things out, and had a blast!
This is the first time Cincinnati has hosted the All-Star Game in 27 years, and the Queen City is going all-out for this event. Everywhere you look you can see hints of the Midsummer Classic, from mustache statues to banners to pillbox hats and more. We had fun walking around looking for mustaches yesterday, finding eight of the twenty-one statues scattered about the area.
In 1988, Terry Steinbach connected for a home run off Dwight Gooden that proved to be all the American League needed to win the game. Hopefully, the National League can find a way to defeat them in 2015.
At the Fanfest, we got to meet a couple of American League mascots…
I know there were more mascots there somewhere, but we didn’t see any as we roamed the three floors of activities. Speed pitch machines, batting cages, and stealing bases with Billy Hamilton were some of the activities that we enjoyed while we were there.
We also stopped by the Hall of Fame exhibit, all the way from Cooperstown…
Some very cool jerseys on display, including Mike Schmidt and Nolan Ryan, two of the superstars of the game when I was my son’s age. We had a nice chat with the Hall of Fame representatives about Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., and Bob Gibson. They were friendly and really enjoyed talking about our national pastime.
We also stopped by the Topps booth, where we tossed some cornhole, and Derek picked up this sweet All-Star Game Gapper card…
We look at the autograph line for Rollie Fingers, and it was insanely long, so we skipped that. But Jim O’Toole‘s line was manageable, so we hopped in and snagged a couple signatures from the Reds great…
I’m looking forward to going back next week for some more Fanfest fun, and I can’t wait for the game Tuesday. It’s going to be a blast!
Heard But Not Seen
by Denny Dressman
ComServ Books, 2015
In the Cincinnati area, it is one of the most talked about plays in Reds history: Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game to secure an extra-inning victory for the National League. The exhibition contest was hosted by the Reds in their brand new Riverfront Stadium just two weeks after the team played their first game there. President Richard M. Nixon was in attendance, throwing out the first pitch and causing extra security measures which caused some members of the media, including Denny Dressman, to miss seeing the final innings.
Award winning author Dressman’s Heard But Not Seen: Richard Nixon, Frank Robinson and The All-Star Game’s most debated play is an excellent look back at that night from a different point of view. Dressman and other members of the media who were assigned to interview players in the locker rooms had to leave the press box in order to use the elevator, which was going to be shut down by the Secret Service for the President’s use.
When they arrived underneath the stadium, however, there was a technical glitch allowing only audio of the game to reach the reporters. Many of the stories filed in the papers the next day were not eyewitness accounts, but crafted from interviews with the players after the game. Dressman followed Baltimore outfielder Frank Robinson around the clubhouse, listening to him talk to other players, including Fosse, bringing together divergent opinions to write his story for The Cincinnati Enquirer headlined “Robby Raps Pete.”
While the original article is not reprinted in this book, there is plenty to entertain and educate the reader. Dressman gives a history of All-Star Games in Cincinnati prior to 1970, the transition from Crosley Field to Riverfront Stadium, the intensity of Rose, the baseball fandom of President Nixon, and other famous plays at the plate. Heard But Not Seen is a unique look back at one of the most famous baseball plays ever, short and sweet and highly entertaining.
Paying tribute to the “Superstar Specials” that appeared in Fleer sets from 1983 onward, TWJ contributor Patrick sent over this nice “Jersey Boys” card featuring Angels outfielder (and future Hall of Famer) Mike Trout and Reds third baseman Todd Frazier. Trout hails from Millville, NJ, while Frazier grew up over an hour away in Toms River. They were born about five and a half years apart, so I doubt they ever faced each other in competitions growing up, but the connection is still there. It was great seeing Frazier having so much fun in Minneapolis this year, and I hope he gets to experience that for many years to come.
While he was at it, Patrick had a little fun with one of the 2014 TWJ originals…
Trout is a paid spokeman for Subway, and appears in this hilarious commercial for the restaurant chain:
Patrick’s “improvement” to my card definitely brought a smile to my face. Thanks again for all your great work, Patrick!