In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
In its second season, Camden Yards in Baltimore the first of the new age retro style stadiums is showcased in the All-Star Game. The American League continues its recent success, with a fifth straight win 9-3 as Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins is named MVP. The game is best remembered for a comical at-bat by John Kruk of the Philadelphia Phillies as he bails out against Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners.
Storm clouds were on the horizon as the All-Star Game came to Baltimore at Camden Yards, which had become the envy of baseball in its second year, serving as the model for a new era of stadiums that will follow in the next decade. Cito Gaston manager of the Toronto Blue Jays becomes the first African American Manager in the All-Star Game leading the American League, while Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves was leading the National League for the second straight season. Gaston called upon Mark Langston of the California Angels to start, while Terry Mulholland of the Philadelphia Phillies started for the NL.
The National League got on the board quickly as Gary Sheffield of the Florida Marlins followed a double by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants with a home run to make 2-0 in the first inning. The American League answered an inning later with a home run by Twins star Kirby Puckett. Randy Johnson of the Mariners came on to pitch in the third and faced John Kruk of Phillies with two outs. The first pitch he threw slipped and went over Kruk’s head, scaring the All-Star first baseman. Kruk reacted by pounding his chest and pulling away from the plate as he swung at the next three pitches. In the bottom of the third, the AL tied the game as Roberto Alomar of the Blue Jays led off with a homer off Andy Benes of the San Diego Padres.
Jack McDowell of the Chicago White Sox relieved Johnson in the fifth and continued to shut down the National League offense. In the bottom of the fifth John Burkett of the San Francisco Giants came on and did not have the same success, as Ivan Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers led off with a double. After a groundout by Roberto Alomar, Albert Belle of the Cleveland Indians made it 3-2 in favor of the AL with an RBI single, advancing to second on an error by David Justice of the Braves. Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners would single home Belle to make it 4-2 and later scored on a double by Kirby Puckett to give the AL a 5-2 lead at the end of five innings.
The NL got a run back in the sixth, as Barry Bonds scored on a sacrifice fly by Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin after a leadoff double against New York Yankees pitcher Jimmy Key. However, things got sloppy for the National League in the bottom of the sixth as a pair of Braves hurlers Steve Avery and John Smoltz struggled. It all started when Carlos Baerga of the Indians reached on a two-out error by Larkin. After his teammate Albert Belle walked, Devon White of the Blue Jays recorded a double to make it 6-3. Smoltz relieved Avery and allowed two runs to score on a pair of wild pitches to make it 8-3.
The American League would warp up the scoring in the seventh inning, when Oakland Athletics catcher Terry Steinbach doubled home, Mo Vaughn of the Boston Red Sox, with Giants closer Rod Beck on the mound. In the ninth, Cito Gaston called on his own Toronto closer, Duane Ward to finish the game, and he pitched a perfect inning getting Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Mike Piazza to strike out to end the game.